Press Statement: Expression of Condolences following Tragic Landslide in Hpa Khant, Kachin State by United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Ms. Renata Dessallien

Yangon, Myanmar – On behalf of the United Nations, I extend our most heartfelt condolences on the heavy toll that the landslide in Hpa Khant, Kachin State took in the hours of the 21st November 2015. I am deeply saddened by the over 100 lives that this tragic landslide has claimed and extend my deepest sympathies to the families of the victims and to all affected people.

I also commend the courageous efforts by the men and women involved in the difficult rescue and recovery efforts, government and non-government actors. I continue to be moved by the solidarity and support by the Myanmar people and civil society for their selfless commitment to support communities in need when faced with tragic circumstances such as this.

Readout of the Secretary-General’s meeting with H.E. Mr. Thein Sein, President of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar

The Secretary-General met with H.E. Mr. Thein Sein, the President of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, on the margins of the ASEAN Summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The Secretary-General congratulated President Thein Sein for his exemplary leadership and the people of Myanmar on the successful conduct of the historic elections held on 8 November. He underscored the statesmanship of the nation’s leaders.

The Secretary-General stressed the need for all stakeholders to work in a spirit of unity, reconciliation and cooperation to address the major challenges confronting the nation, including those of national reconstruction, stability and development. He agreed that peaceful transfer of power was essential for the future of Myanmar.

The Secretary-General added that the UN would continue to work closely with Myanmar as it moved forward on the path toward a peaceful, inclusive multi-ethnic and multi-religious democracy.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 22 November 2015

“There is no turning back in Myanmar,” says UN human rights expert after elections

GENEVA (16 November 2015) – United Nations Special Rapporteur Yanghee Lee today welcomed the recent elections in Myanmar as “a new chapter in the country’s history” and reaffirmed her commitment to work with all parties to improve the human rights situation for all in Myanmar. “The people have expressed the will for change. There is no turning back now,” Ms. Lee stressed.

“In the new post-election environment, respect for human rights and democratic space must be ensured to protect and support those wishing to work with the new government in furthering democratic transition, national reconciliation and sustainable development and peace in Myanmar,” said the independent expert charged by the UN Human Rights Council with monitoring, reporting and advising on the situation of human rights in the country.

“It was truly heartening to see thousands flock to the polls on 8 November, many of whom were voting for the first time in their lives. The people have clearly expressed their wish for a free and democratic nation. These elections also demonstrate just how far the country has come in a few short years,” she said.

At the same time, the expert recalled the human rights concerns that had been highlighted in the run-up to voting. These include the disenfranchisement of hundreds of thousands of people, including from minority communities, the disqualification of many Muslim candidates, as well as continuing restrictions in the exercise of the rights to freedoms of expression, peaceful assembly and association.

“These concerns are symptomatic of broader human rights challenges that will require the urgent attention of the new government. Now is the perfect time to recognize the situation and to chart the way forward to address them,” Ms. Lee said.

The Special Rapporteur underlined that discrimination against ethnic and religious minorities, including the Rohingya in Rakhine State, as well as prevalent hate speech and incitement to hatred and violence against minority communities, should be addressed as a matter of priority.

Ms. Lee also noted the need for further reforms to fully guarantee the rights to freedoms of expression, peaceful assembly and association and to reform numerous laws that do not comply with international human rights standards.

“The arrests, convictions and harassment of civil society and journalists should immediately cease. And all remaining political prisoners must be released,” the independent expert urged.

“I look forward to working closely with all stakeholders in the coming months to address these and other important human rights challenges. I reaffirm my willingness to work constructively and cooperatively with all in Myanmar to improve the human rights situation in the country,” the Special Rapporteur said.


Ms. Yanghee Lee (Republic of Korea) was appointed as Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar by the UN Human Rights Council in 2014. Ms Lee served as member and chairperson of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (2003-2011). She is currently a professor at Sungkyunwan University, Seoul, and serves on the Advisory Committee of the National Human Rights Commission of Korea. Ms Lee is the founding President of International Child Rights Center, and serves as Vice-chair of the National Unification Advisory Council. Learn more, log on to:

The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.

Check the Special Rapporteur’s latest report to the UN General Assembly (A/70/412):

UN Human Rights, country page – Myanmar:

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ျမန္မာႏိုင္ငံေရြးေကာက္ပြဲႏွင့္ပတ္သက္၍ အတြင္းေရးမႈးခ်ဳပ္၏ ထုတ္ျပန္ေၾကညာခ်က္

ႏိုဝင္ဘာလ ၈ ရက္ေန႔၌ က်င္းပခဲ့ေသာ သမိုင္းဝင္ ေရြးေကာက္ပြဲတြင္ ေအးခ်မ္းစြာ၊ သိကၡာရွိစြာႏွင့္ စိတ္ဝင္တစား ပါဝင္ခဲ့ၾကသည့္ျမန္မာႏိုင္ငံသူ ႏုိင္ငံသားမ်ားအား အေထြေထြအတြင္းေရးမႈးခ်ဳပ္က ေႏြးေထြး စြာ ခ်ီးမြမ္းဂုဏ္ျပဳလိုက္ပါသည္။ ယင္းသည္ ျမန္မာႏိုင္ငံ၏ ဒီမိုကေရစီ အကူး အေျပာင္း ကာလတြင္ အေရးပါအရာေရာက္သည့္ ေအာင္ျမင္မႈတစ္ရပ္အျဖစ္ အတြင္းေရးမွဴးခ်ဳပ္က ႀကိဳဆိုပါသည္။ အထူးသျဖင့္ ၎က သမၼတႀကီး ဦးသိန္းစိန္၏ ရဲစြမ္းသတၱိ၊ အေမွ်ာ္အျမင္ႏွင့္ ဦးေဆာင္မႈေအာက္တြင္ ျပဳျပင္ေျပာင္းလဲမႈ လုပ္ငန္းစဥ္သည္ ယခုကဲ့သို႔ ျပတ္သားသည့္အဆင့္သို႔ ေရာက္ရွိလာေၾကာင္း အသိအမွတ္ျပဳပါသည္။ ထုိ႔အျပင္ အတြင္းေရးမႈးခ်ဳပ္သည္ ျပည္ေထာင္စုေရြးေကာက္ပြဲေကာ္မရွင္၊ ႏုိင္ငံေရး ပါတီမ်ား၊ ျပည္တြင္း ျပည္ပ ေလ့လာေစာင့္ၾကည့္သူမ်ားအပါအ၀င္ဤေရြးေကာက္ပြဲကို အထူးေအာင္ျမင္ေစရန္ မနားမေန ေဆာင္ရြက္ခဲ့သူမ်ားအားလံုးကို ခ်ီးက်ဴးပါသည္။ တစ္ခ်ိန္တည္းမွာပင္ ၎က လူနည္းစုအသို္င္းအဝိုင္းမွ အထူးသျဖင့္ ရိုဟင္ဂ်ာမ်ား မဲေပးခြင့္ႏွင့္ ေရြးေကာက္ပြဲ ဝင္ေရာက္ ယွဥ္ၿပိဳင္ခြင့္ ဆံုးရံႈးခဲ႔ရသည္ကို ရစိတ္မေကာင္း စြာသိရွိခဲ႔ရပါသည္။
အတြင္းေရးမႈးခ်ဳပ္သည္ ေရြးေကာက္ပြဲတြင္ ေျပာင္ေျမာက္စြာ ေအာင္ျမင္မႈရခဲ့သည့္ အမ်ဳိးသားဒီမုိကေရစီ အဖဲြ႕ခ်ဳပ္ (NLD)ႏွင့္ ေဒၚေအာင္ဆန္းစုၾကည္အားလည္းေကာင္း၊ ျပည္သူတို႔၏ ဆံုးျဖတ္ခ်က္ကို သိကၡာရွိစြာ လက္ခံခဲ့ေသာ ျပည္ေထာင္စုၾကံ့ခိုင္ဖြံ႕ၿဖိဳးေရးပါတီ (USDP)အားလည္းေကာင္း၊ ေႏြးေထြးစြာ ဂုဏ္ျပဳခ်ီးမြမ္း လိုက္ပါသည္။ ေရြးေကာက္ပြဲရလဒ္ကို လက္ခံခဲ့ျပီး ယံုၾကည္စိတ္ခ်ရေသာ ပြင့္လင္းျမင္သာေသာ ေရြးေကာက္ပြဲမ်ား က်င္းပႏို္င္ေရးအတြက္ တပ္မေတာ္၏ ပံ့ပိုးကူညီမႈမွာ အထူးပင္အေရးပါခဲ့ပါသည္။
ႏို္င္ငံေရးေခါင္းေဆာင္မ်ား၊ စစ္ေခါင္းေဆာင္မ်ားႏွင့္ အျခားသက္ဆိုင္သူမ်ားအားလံုးတို႔ ထုတ္ျပန္ခဲ့ေသာ ေၾကညာခ်က္မ်ားအေပၚ အတြင္းေရးမႈးခ်ဳပ္က အားရခဲ့ပါသည္။ ျမန္မာႏိုင္ငံသည္ လာမည့္အစိုးရသစ္ ဖြဲ႕စည္းရာတြင္ ျပည္တြင္းရွိပါ၀င္ပတ္သက္သူအားလံုးမွ တည္ၿငိမ္ေသာပတ္၀န္းက်င္တစ္ခုကို ထိန္းသိမ္း တည္ေဆာက္ရင္း လူ႔အခြင့္အေရးႏွင့္ တရားဥပေဒ စိုးမိုးေရးကို ဦးထိပ္ထားၿပီး ေဆာင္ရြက္ပါရန္ အတြင္းေရးမႈးခ်ဳပ္က ပန္ၾကားပါသည္။
ျမန္မာႏိုင္ငံ၏ ဒီမိုကေရစီခရီးစဥ္ႏွင့္ လာမည့္ေရြးေကာက္ပြဲမ်ားမွာ အားလံုး အမွန္တကယ္ ပါဝင္ႏိုင္ရန္ လုပ္ေဆာင္ရာတြင္ မ်ားစြာ ၾကိဳးစားလုပ္ေဆာင္ၾကရဦးမည္ ျဖစ္သည္။ မည္သူမွ် ဖယ္က်ဥ္ခံရမႈ၊ အကာအကြယ္မဲ႔မႈ၊ ခြဲျခားဆက္္ဆံမႈမရွိဘဲ လူသားတိုင္း လူ႔အခြင့္အေရးကို လူမ်ဳိး၊ လူမ်ဳိးစု၊ ဘာသာႏွင့္ က်ား၊မ ခြဲျခားမႈမရွိ၊ ရရွိခံစားႏိုင္ေသာ အနာဂတ္တစ္ခု၊ အားလံုးပါဝင္မႈ၊ ေလးစားမႈႏွင့္ သည္းခံႏိုင္မႈတို႔ အေပၚ ေကာင္းစြာ အေျချပဳထားသည္႔ ဖြံ႔ျဖိဳးမႈႏွင့္ ျငိမ္းခ်မ္းမႈတို႔ရွိရာ အနာဂတ္တစ္ခုကို တည္ေဆာက္ ရန္အတြက္ ျမန္မာျပည္သူျပည္သားမ်ား ႏွင့္ ေခါင္းေဆာင္မ်ား၏ စြမ္းေဆာင္ရည္အတြင္းတြင္ရွိသည္။
ကုလသမဂၢအေနျဖင့္ ျမန္မာႏိုင္ငံ၌ လူတိုင္းအတြက္ ဒီမိုကေရစီ ခုိုင္ၿမဲေစေရး၊ တရားမွ်တမႈ ပိုမိုရရွိေစေရး၊ ၿငိမ္းခ်မ္းေရး၊ လူ႔အခြင့္အေရးႏွင့္ ဖြံ႕ၿဖိဳးမႈတို႔အတြက္ ေဆာင္ရြက္ရာတြင္ ကူညီပံ့ပိုးရန္ အဆင္သင့္ရွိေၾကာင္း အတြင္းေရးမႈးခ်ဳပ္က ထပ္မံ ကတိကဝတ္ ျပဳခဲ့ပါသည္။ ၎၏ အထူးအႀကံေပးအရာရွိသည္ ပါဝင္ ပတ္ သက္သူ အားလံုးႏွင့္ သက္ဆိုင္ရာ ႏိုင္ငံေရးအင္အားစုအားလံုးတို႔ႏွင့္ ဤ ဦးတည္ခ်က္ ေရာက္ရွိရန္ ဆက္ လက္ လုပ္ေဆာင္သြားမည္ ျဖစ္ပါသည္။
နယူးေယာက္၊ ၂၀၁၅ ႏိုဝင္ဘာလ ၁၂ ရက္။

Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on the elections in Myanmar

The Secretary-General warmly congratulates the people of Myanmar for their peaceful, dignified and enthusiastic participation in the historic elections of 8 November. He welcomes this as a significant achievement in Myanmar’s democratic transition. He acknowledges, in particular, the courage and vision of President Thein Sein whose leadership in the reform process has helped achieve progress to this defining stage. The Secretary-General also commends the Union Election Commission, political parties, domestic and international observers and all others who tirelessly contributed to making these elections such a significant success. While saying this, he is regretfully aware that a large number of voters from minority communities, in particular the Rohingya, were denied the right to vote and some were disqualified as candidates.

The Secretary-General extends his warm congratulations to the National League for Democracy (NLD) and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi for their landmark performance at the elections and to the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) for its dignified acceptance of the verdict of the people. The Army’s support to the conduct of credible and transparent elections as well as its acceptance of the results, have also been uniquely important.

The Secretary-General is encouraged by the statements of political and military leaders and other relevant actors. As Myanmar begins the process of forming its next government, the Secretary-General urges all national stakeholders to maintain a calm atmosphere and uphold human rights and the rule of law.
There is much hard work that remains ahead on Myanmar’s democratic journey and towards making future elections truly inclusive. The people and leaders of Myanmar have it within their power to come together to build a better future for their country, a future where peace and development take firm root on the foundations of inclusivity, respect and tolerance, where the human rights of all are protected regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or gender, and where no one is marginalized, vulnerable, and discriminated against.

The Secretary-General reaffirms the readiness of the United Nations to continue to support efforts in Myanmar to consolidate democracy and advance justice, peace, human rights and development for the benefit of all the people of the country. His Special Adviser on Myanmar will continue to work with all stakeholders and relevant political forces towards this goal.

New York, 12 November 2015

ျမန္မာႏိုင္ငံေရြးေကာက္ပြဲႏွင့္ပတ္သက္၍ သတင္းစာဆရာမ်ား၏ေမးခြန္းမ်ားအေပၚ ေျဖၾကားခ်က္

ျမန္မာႏိုင္ငံေရြးေကာက္ပြဲႏွင့္ပတ္သက္၍ သတင္းစာဆရာမ်ား၏ေမးခြန္းမ်ားအေပၚ ေျဖၾကားခ်က္

ျမန္မာႏိုင္ငံ၏ ႏိုဝင္ဘာလေရြးေကာက္ပြဲႏွင့္စပ္လ်ဥ္း၍ ကုသမဂၢအတြင္းေရးမႈးခ်ဳပ္အပါအဝင္ ကုလသမဂၢ မိသားစုက ေမွ်ာ္လင့္ခ်က္မ်ား၊ စိုးရိမ္ေၾကာင့္ၾကမႈမ်ားကို ေဖာ္ထုတ္ခဲ့ၿပီးျဖစ္သည္။ လာမည့္ရက္မ်ား၌ ေရြးေကာက္ပြဲရလဒ္မ်ားအေပၚ ပိုမို တိက်စြာ ေျဖၾကားသြားမည္ျဖစ္သည္။

တနဂၤေႏြေန႔က က်င္းပခဲ့ေသာ သမိုင္းဝင္က႑သစ္ ဖြင့္လွစ္လိုက္ေသာ ေရြးေကာက္ပြဲတြင္ ပါဝင္ခဲ့သည့္ ျမန္မာႏိုင္ငံရွိ ျပည္သူအလႊာစံု၏ စိတ္ရွည္သည္းခံျခင္း၊ သိကၡာရွိျခင္းႏွင့္ တက္ႀကြမႈရွိျခင္းကို အတြင္းေရးမႈး ခ်ဳပ္က ခ်ီးမြမ္းဂုဏ္ျပဳလိုက္သည္။ ျပည္ေထာင္စုေရြးေကာက္ပြဲေကာ္မရွင္ႏွင့္ ၄င္း၏ တိုင္းေဒသႀကီးႏွင့္ ေဒသႏၱရအဖြဲ႕အစည္းအားလံုးကိုလည္း ၄င္းတို႔၏ အေရးပါေသာ ေဆာင္ရြက္ခ်က္မ်ားကို ခ်ီးမြမ္းေထာပနာ ျပဳပါသည္။ ျပည္တြင္း ျပည္ပ ေလ့လာေစာင့္ၾကည့္သူမ်ားကလည္း ဤေလးနက္ေသာ ျဖစ္ရပ္ကုိ သက္ေသ ျပဳႏိုင္ခဲ့သည္။

ေရြးေကာက္ပြဲရလဒ္မ်ား စတင္ဝင္လာေၾကာင္း အတြင္းေရးမႈးခ်ဳပ္က သတိျပဳမိပါသည္။ ျမန္မာႏိုင္ငံတြင္ သက္ဆိုင္သူအားလံုးကို ေရြးေကာက္ပြဲလုပ္ငန္းစဥ္ ၿပီးဆံုးသည္အထိ သိကၡာရွိရွိ၊ ေအးခ်မ္းၿပီး ေလးစားသမႈ ရွိေသာ စိတ္ဓာတ္ကို ဆက္လက္ ထိန္းသိမ္းထားၾကရန္ ပန္ၾကားပါသည္။

ျမန္မာ့ေရြးေကာက္ပြဲအေပၚ ၾသစေၾတးလ်၊ ကေနဒါ၊ ဒိန္းမတ္၊ ျပင္သစ္၊ ဂ်ပန္၊ နယူးဇီလန္၊ နယ္သာလန္၊ ေနာ္ေဝ၊ ကုီးရီးယားသမၼတႏုိင္ငံ၊ ဆြီဒင္(ရန္ကုန္ရုံးခြဲ)၊ ၿဗိတိန္၊ အေမရိကန္ျပည္ေထာင္စုသံရံုးမ်ား ႏွင့္ ကုလသမဂၢ၏ေၾကညာခ်က္

ျမန္မာ့ေရြးေကာက္ပြဲအေပၚ ၾသစေၾတးလ်၊ ကေနဒါ၊ ဒိန္းမတ္၊ ျပင္သစ္၊ ဂ်ပန္၊ နယူးဇီလန္၊ နယ္သာလန္၊ ေနာ္ေဝ၊ ကုီးရီးယားသမၼတႏုိင္ငံ၊ ဆြီဒင္(ရန္ကုန္ရုံးခြဲ)၊ ၿဗိတိန္၊ အေမရိကန္ျပည္ေထာင္စုသံရံုးမ်ား ႏွင့္ ကုလသမဂၢ၏ေၾကညာခ်က္

တနဂၤေႏြေန႔ တြင္ က်င္းပေတာ့မည့္ ျမန္မာ့သမုိင္းဝင္ေရြးေကာက္ပြဲ နီးကပ္လာသည္ႏွင့္အမွ် ၾသစေတးလ်၊ ကေနဒါ၊ ဒိန္းမတ္၊ ျပင္သစ္၊ ဂ်ပန္၊ နယူးဇီလန္၊ နယ္သာလန္၊ ေနာ္ေဝ၊ ကုီးရီးယားသမၼတႏုိင္ငံ၊ ဆြီဒင္ (ရန္ကုန္ရုံးခြဲ)၊ ၿဗိတိန္၊ အေမရိကန္ျပည္ေထာင္စု သံရံုးမ်ားႏွင့္ ကုလသမဂၢက ျမန္မာျပည္သူအားလုံးကုိ အားေပးေထာက္ခံ လ်က္ရွိေၾကာင္း ထပ္ေလာင္း အတည္ျပဳ ေျပာၾကားလုိပါသည္။ ဤေရြးေကာက္ပြဲျဖစ္စဥ္ကို အနီးကပ္ေလ႔လာေနသူ ႏိုင္ငံတကာမိတ္ဖက္အဖြဲ႔အစည္းမ်ားအေနျဖင့္ ေရြးေကာက္ပြဲကုိ ၿငိမ္းခ်မ္းစြာ၊ ပြင့္လင္းျမင္သာစြာျဖင့္ ျပည္သူ အားလုံး၏ ဆႏၵႏွင့္ အညီက်င္းပႏုိင္ရန္၊ ေရြးေကာက္ပြဲကာလႏွင့္ ေရြးေကာက္ပြဲအလြန္ကာလမ်ားတြင္လည္း တည္ၿငိမ္မႈရွိၾကရန္၊ အားလုံးတန္းတူညီမွ် ဆက္ဆံၾကရန္၊ ယွဥ္ဘက္ပါတီမ်ားႏွင့္ ကုိယ္စားလွယ္ေလာင္းမ်ား ၾကား ေတြ႕ဆုံေဆြးေႏြးၾကရန္ ပန္ၾကားအပ္ပါသည္။ ဤေရြးေကာက္ပြဲသည္ ျမန္မာႏုိင္ငံ၏ ဒီမုိကေရစီ အသြင္ကူးေျပာင္းေရး အတြက္အေရးၾကီးေသာ မွတ္တုိင္ တစ္ခုျဖစ္ပါလိမ့္မည္။ ဤ္ ေရြးေကာက္ပြဲေအာင္ျမင္ႏုိင္ေရးသည္ အစုိးရ၊ ႏုိင္ငံေရးပါတီမ်ား၊ အရပ္ဘက္အဖြဲ႔အစည္းမ်ား၊ မီဒီယာမ်ား၊ အထူးသျဖင့္ ျပည္သူမ်ားတြင္ တာဝန္ရိွျပီး ယင္းတာ၀န္မ်ားကို ျငိမ္းခ်မ္းစြာ ျဖင့္အတူတကြ ညီညီညာညာ လက္တဲြကာ ေရွ႕ဆက္ေဆာင္ရြက္သြားရမည္ျဖစ္သည္။ ျမန္မာျပည္သူမ်ားသည္မိမိတုိ႔၏ဆႏကုိ ၵ ထုတ္ေဖာ္ႏုိင္ရန္အတြက္မဲရုံမ်ားသုိ႔ အေရာက္သြားၿပီး လြတ္လပ္စြာ မဲေပးၾကမည္ဟုေမွ်ာ္လင့္ပါသည္။ ႏုိင္ငံတကာအသိုက္အဝန္းက ျမန္မာျပည္သူမ်ားကုိအားေပး ကူညီသြားရန္ အခုိင္အမာ ဆုံးျဖတ္ထားသည့္အတုိင္း လက္ရွိေရြးေကာက္ပြဲကာလ ျဖစ္စဥ္တစ္ခုလုံးႏွင့္ ၂၀၁၆ ခုႏွစ္တြင္ အစုိးရအသစ္တစ္ရပ္ဖြဲ႔စည္းႏုိင္သည္အထိအနီးကပ္ဆက္လက္ေစာင့္ၾကည့္သြားမည္ျဖစ္ပါသည္။

Statement by the Diplomatic Missions of Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Japan, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Norway, Republic of Korea, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and the United Nations on Myanmar’s Elections

As Myanmar approaches historic elections on Sunday, the diplomatic missions of Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Japan, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Norway, Republic of Korea, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and the United Nations reaffirm their support for the people of Myanmar. As international partners and close followers of the electoral process, we call on all stakeholders to ensure that these elections are conducted peacefully, transparently, and in accordance with the will of the people; that the period during and after election day is marked by calm, equitable treatment of all; and that there be dialogue among contending parties and candidates. These elections will be an important milestone in Myanmar’s transition to democracy, and the responsibility for their success rests with the government, political parties, civil society, the media, and most importantly, the people of this country, charting a peaceful, just, and united way forward together. We hope the people of Myanmar will make their voices heard by going to the polls and casting their votes freely. The international community remains committed to support the people of Myanmar throughout the current elections and will continue to follow the process closely through the formation of a new government in 2016.

Statement by Adama Dieng, Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide, and Jennifer Welsh, Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on the Responsibility to Protect, on the upcoming elections in Myanmar.

For immediate release
Statement by Adama Dieng, Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on the Prevention
of Genocide, and Jennifer Welsh, Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on the
Responsibility to Protect, on the upcoming elections in Myanmar.

(New York, 4 November 2015) The Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, Adama
Dieng, and the Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect, Jennifer Welsh, called on the
Government of Myanmar to take all possible measures to ensure that the upcoming elections
of 8 November are held in a peaceful environment.

The Special Advisers expressed concern at the politicization of ethnicity and religion during
electoral campaigning in violation of Article 364 of the 2008 Constitution of the Republic of
the Union of Myanmar. “The promotion of a political agenda that is based primarily on the
protection of a particular religion or ethnic group is dangerous, particularly in a country as
richly diverse as Myanmar”, said the Special Advisers. They raised alarm at reports of
increased advocacy of religious hatred against Muslim minorities by religious groups and
leaders, as well as by members of political parties, noting that such advocacy may constitute
incitement to violence and is prohibited under international law.

While recognizing the importance of the elections for the democratization of Myanmar, the
Special Advisers voiced concerns that the electoral process has resulted in further
marginalisation of religious minorities, in particular Muslim Rohingya. In the last few
months, the Rohingya have been stripped of their right to vote; their freedom of association
has been curtailed, impeding them from forming or joining political parties, and their
representatives are no longer eligible to stand as candidates for seats in Parliament. The
Special Advisers stated that “silencing the voice of one sector of the population brings into
question the integrity of any electoral process.”

They underlined that the Muslim Rohingya population has been subjected to decades of
institutionalized discrimination in law, policies and practice. More recently, four pieces of
legislation, also known as the Protection of Race and Religion Bills, have been adopted in
what the Special Advisers qualified as a clear step backwards for the protection of
fundamental rights in Myanmar, in particular the right to freedom of religion and belief and
women’s rights. According to the Special Advisers, “these bills discriminate against religious
minorities and strengthen a rising Buddhist ultra-nationalist movement that is likely to take
advantage of this opportunity to advance their platform against Muslims. This is unacceptable
in the new Myanmar.”
The Special Advisers concluded: “We would like to make three requests. The first is to the
current Government of Myanmar, to take all possible measures to guarantee that the elections
take place in a climate of freedom, mutual respect and peace. To this end, we urge the
Government to publicly condemn and counter any discourse that incites the population to
discrimination, hostility and violence based on religion or ethnicity, and to take measures
against those responsible. Our second request is to the people of Myanmar: we urge you to
use these elections to show the potential of Myanmar to be a nation of tolerance and peace.
Finally, our third request is to the leaders who will form the new Government of Myanmar.

We call on you to show a commitment to democracy, the rule of law and human rights. This
includes addressing the communal tensions in Rakhine State and developing sustainable
solutions that respond to the concerns and needs of all communities, or face the risk of further
violence and potentially, more serious crimes. Religious minorities, including the Rohingya,
are a part of Myanmar. Building an inclusive and tolerant society is essential for democracy
and long-term peace in the country.”

For Burmese translation of the statement, please click here.

* *** *
For media queries please contact:
Claudia Diaz
Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect
Phone: +1 212-963-35-74; Email:

Statement Attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on Myanmar

New York, 1 November 2015

The Secretary-General expresses deep concern at the continuous resort to hate speech, the incitement of communal animosities and the abuse of religion for political purposes resorted to by extreme elements among the majority community in Myanmar.

In this context, he notes the antagonism displayed in certain quarters against international organizations, including the United Nations. He deplores particularly the vulgar remarks recently directed, not for the first time, against the Special Rapporteur of the United Nations for carrying out her mandate.  He is concerned that continued impunity for such behavior could gravely damage the international image of the country.

The Secretary-General has addressed a letter to President U Thein Sein expressing his full confidence in and support for the important work being done by Special Rapporteur Yanghee Lee. Meanwhile, with the approaching elections on 8 November, he urges all concerned in Myanmar to eschew any kind of pressure, intimidation, dissemination of hatred or violence against individuals or organizations based on their ethnic identity, gender, religious persuasion or political views.