( BBC ) - The UN Security Council has adopted a statement deploring Burma's military crackdown on pro-democracy protesters.
The agreement came after China lifted its objections to a statement first drafted by the US, UK and France.
It represents the first time the 15-nation body has taken any formal action over Burma.
The move indicates a shift of position by China, which had previously used its veto to stop the council from criticising Burma's military junta.
The statement "strongly deplores the use of violence against peaceful demonstrators" in Burma and calls on the junta and all other parties "to work together toward a de-escalation of the situation and a peaceful solution".
It also calls for the early release of "all political prisoners and remaining detainees", urging the junta to prepare for a "genuine dialogue" with opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
The non-binding statement - which, unlike a resolution, requires the consent of all 15 council members to be adopted - was issued by Ghana's UN Ambassador Leslie Christian, the council's president.
US ambassador to the UN Zalmay Khalilzad said the statement was an important achievement.
"Our expectation is that this statement will have... a positive impact on the situation on the ground in terms of government behaviour and if it doesn't we're committed to coming back," he said.
Dr Thaung Htun, the UN representative for Burma's government-in-exile, said it sent a clear message to the generals to end violence and begin political dialogue.
"But the Security Council should closely monitor the situation and then evaluate how the military respond to the statement," he warned.