Myanmar President Thein Sein, speaking before the General Assembly, highlighted how far down the road to democracy his country has come, Financial Times reports.

In his speech, Mr. Thein Sein pledged an “unprecedented and irreversible course of change” and praised Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi for her unwavering commitment to more reforms in the once military junta-ruled state. Still, ethnic and sectarian conflicts pose a risk to economic and social reforms that have gained momentum in the country. Mr. Thein Sein, saying that Myanmar is undergoing a “complex and delicate” transformation, appealed for “patience”.

The US expressed its support for Myanmar through further easing decades-worth of sanctions during a meeting between Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Mr. Thein Sein on the sidelines of the General Assembly. Mr. Thein Sein was also removed from the list of sanctioned individuals ahead of his visit to the US, in a nod to the country’s “democratic gains”.