Author Archives: United Nations


New York  17 June 2014

As delivered

I am pleased to have this opportunity to brief you on my trip last week to Myanmar to take stock of the humanitarian challenges there. This trip coincided with the second anniversary of the terrible inter-communal violence in Rakhine State and the third anniversary of the conflict in Kachin State.

In both Rakhine and Kachin, humanitarian access is an issue, but for very different reasons. In Kachin, half of the 100,000 or so people displaced by war are living in camps beyond Government control, and where international access is limited to irregular cross-line humanitarian missions.

In Rakhine, I witnessed a level of human suffering in IDP camps that I have personally never seen before, with men, women, and children living in appalling conditions with severe restrictions on their freedom of movement, both in camps and isolated villages. Many people have wholly inadequate access to basic services including health, education, water and sanitation.

Two years into the crisis in Rakhine, hundreds of thousands of people continue to rely on humanitarian aid because they cannot rebuild their lives and livelihoods. Farmers can’t go to their fields, fishermen can’t go to the sea, and traders can’t go to the markets.

Humanitarian workers in Rakhine are carrying out their work under extremely difficult circumstances and I was humbled by their commitment to stay and deliver. However, unless the Myanmar authorities ensure that the perpetrators of the attacks on UN and NGO premises in late March are brought to justice, the safety and security of our staff will continue to be at risk.

The context in Kachin is very different. I was only able to visit an IDP camp in the Government-controlled area, but I met local NGO staff who are central to humanitarian work in areas held by the Kachin Independence Army. Access by international humanitarian organizations is improving through cross-line missions but aid agencies need regular, predictable, and sustained access to all IDPs.

In the capital Nay Pyi Taw, I met with the Vice President, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Social Welfare, Relief, and Resettlement, and the Deputy Minister of Border Affairs and I reiterated the UN’s commitment to support the Government’s efforts to meet humanitarian needs and reminded them of their responsibility to bring the perpetrators of the March attacks to justice.

With regular earthquakes, floods, and cyclones, Myanmar is one of Asia’s most disaster-prone countries and I thanked the authorities for their strong engagement in working with humanitarian organizations in improving disaster preparedness and response.

The priority for both the Government and the international community must be to improve the lives of the most vulnerable people in the country, regardless of ethnicity, nationality, religion, gender or class.

With those very brief introductory remarks, I’m ready to take your questions now.

Press Release – Special Adviser to the UN Secretary- General on Myanmar

The Special Adviser welcomes the constructive dialogue held between the Government of Myanmar’s Union Peace-making Work Committee and the Kachin Independence Organization in Myitkyiana on 13 May. The meeting was held against the backdrop of concerns about recent clashes between the Armed forces of Myanmar and the Kachin Independence Army.
  The Special Adviser is encouraged by the commitment on both sides to build on previous agreements aimed at de-escalating the conflict, particularly the decision to establish a joint Conflict Resolution Committee to facilitate communication between them and to prevent further violent clashes.  He urges all stakeholders to desist from any further violence and to work continuously and purposively to reach a Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement and the start of a political dialogue. He also notes the call in the joint statement issued at the conclusion of the dialogue urging the media to play a constructive role to help advance the peace process.
  In response to an invitation to attend the talks as an Observer, Ms. Mariann R. Hagen, Assistant Special Adviser was present during the most recent deliberations. The Special Adviser reiterates the readiness of the United Nations to continue to provide all necessary assistance and support in the future in accordance with the agreement of all concerned.
                                                                                                               Yangon, 13 May 2014

Visit of the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Myanmar

Mr. Vijay Nambiar, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Myanmar visited the country from 25 August to 2 September. During his visit, he met with national leaders including Vice President Sai Mauk Kham, Speaker of the Union Parliament Thura U Shwe Mann and Opposition Leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. He also met with various other government officials at the national, state and regional levels as well as with leaders of ethnic groups, religious leaders, civil society and the diplomatic corps.

During the course of his stay in Myanmar, besides his official meetings in Yangon and Naypyitaw, he also visited Myitkyina, Laiza, Meiktila, Sittwe, Thandwe and other places in Northern Rakhine. Apart from his various official level contacts and consultations as well as field visits, he briefly attended a workshop on rural development in Yangon. In Laiza, Mr. Nambiar met with leaders of the Kachin Independence Organization and visited IDP camps and in Meiktila, he participated in an interfaith dialogue with members of various religious groups. In Nay Pyi Taw, the Special Adviser observed the first consultative meeting between the Union Peace Working Committee, the Karen National Union and the Restoration Council of Shan State. In Sittwe, he joined in a consultation between government officials and members of the local Muslim community.

The present visit of the Special Adviser was part of his routine consultations prior to the sixty eighth session of the United Nations General Assembly due to begin later in September.

Myanmar: UN expert greets abolition of notorious border security force in Rakhine State and calls for accountability

GENEVA (16 July 2013) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Myanmar, Tomás Ojea Quintana, today welcomed the abolition of Nasaka, the notorious border security force operating in Rakhine State. He urged the authorities to investigate and hold accountable those members of the force responsible for human rights abuses…


Press Statement on the release of the Report of the Rakhine State Conflict Investigation Commission

Yangon, 1 May 2013 – The Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator ai, Mr. Bertrand Bainvel, welcomes the release of the Report of the Rakhine State Conflict  Investigation Commission to the Government of Myanmar.  He acknowledges the emphasis placed on the urgent need to provide internally displaced persons (IDPs) with humanitarian assistance,  and promptly improve the living conditions of the most vulnerable IDPS prior to the monsoon season.  He urges the Government to take adequate measures to guarantee  humanitarian workers unimpeded access to provide assistance to all affected people, as well as to take action against all forms of incitement.

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Statement on behalf of the Special Adviser of the Secretary-General of the UN on Myanmar

Statement on behalf of the Special Adviser of the Secretary-General of the UN on Myanmar
The Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on Myanmar, Mr. Vijay Nambiar, visited Myanmar from 3rd to 6th of February at the invitation of the Minister in the President’s Office, U Soe Thane. During his visit he held discussions with the Ministers in the President Office, U Soe Thane and U Aung Min, Minister for Immigration and Population, U Khin Yi, and other government officials as well as with members of civil society in Myanmar and of the diplomatic corps in Yangon. The main subject of his discussions was the situation in Kachin and developments linked with that situation.

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Religious violence in Myanmar, the consequences of Government inaction in tackling prejudice and discrimination – UN expert

GENEVA (28 March 2013) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Myanmar, Tomás Ojea Quintana, today expressed serious concerns over the spread of violence between Muslim and Buddhist communities in Myanmar and urged bold steps by the Government to counteract this frightening trend.

“The Government must take immediate action to stop the violence from spreading to other parts of the country and undermining the reform process. This includes stemming campaigns of discrimination and hate speech which are fuelling racist and, in particular, anti-Muslim feeling in the country. And it involves holding to account those responsible for acts of violence and destruction against religious and ethnic minorities,” the Special Rapporteur said.

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Statement on Myanmar by Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Prevention of Genocide

For immediate release
Statement of the Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide on the situation in Myanmar

(New York, 25 March 2013) The Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, Mr. Adama Dieng, expresses deep concern at reports of increased violence between Muslim and Buddhist communities in Myanmar.

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Press Release at the conclusion of the visit to Myanmar of the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General for Myanmar, Mr. Vijay Nambiar, from 21 to 25 March 2013

Yangon, 25 March 2013 – The Special Adviser to the Secretary-General for Myanmar, Mr. Vijay Nambiar, today concluded a five-day working visit to Myanmar at the invitation of the Government of Myanmar.

During his stay in the country, he was received by President U Thein Sein on March 25 2013. He also held discussions with senior ministers and government, army and police officials concerned, in addition to representatives from civil society and religious leaders.

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