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THE SECRETARY-GENERAL MESSAGE ON WORLD POPULATION DAY, 11 July 2019

U N I T E D   N A T I O N S                                    N A T I O N S   U N I E S

ကုလသမဂၢအေထြေထြအတြင္းေရးမွဴးခ်ဳပ္၏ ကမၻာ့လူဦးေရေန႕တြင္  ေပးပုိ ့သည့္ သတင္းစကား

၂၀၁၉ ခုႏွစ္၊ ဇူလိုင္လ ၁၁ ရက္

၂၀၃၀ ခုႏွစ္ ေရရွည္စဥ္ဆက္မျပတ္ဖြံ႕ျဖိဳးတိုးတက္ေရး အစီအစဥ္သည္ လူတိုင္းအတြက္ အနာဂတ္ေတြလွပဖို႔ႏွင့္ က်န္းမာစိုေျပေသာေနရာျဖစ္လာေစဖို႔ တည္ေဆာက္ရာမွာ လိုအပ္တဲ့ ကမၻာၾကီး၏ အေျခခံဖြဲ႕စည္းမႈ ပံုစံတစ္ခုပါ။ ယခုက်ေရာက္တဲ့ ကမၻာ့လူဦးေရေန႔မွာ အခုလိုေဆာင္ရြက္ရမယ့္လုပ္ငန္းတာ၀န္ေတြဟာ လူဦးေရတိုးတက္ လာမႈ၊ သက္ၾကီးရြယ္အို တိုးပြားလာမႈ၊ ေနရပ္ေရႊ႕ေျပာင္းေနထုိင္မႈႏွင့္ ျမိဳ႕ျပမ်ား ေပၚေပါက္လာမႈတို႔ပါ၀င္တဲ့ လူဦးေရ ဆိုင္ရာေျပာင္းလဲမႈအေျခအေနေတြနဲ႔ လြန္စြာဆက္ႏြယ္ပတ္သက္ ေနပါတယ္။

ကမၻာ့လူဦးေရ တိုးပြားလာတာနဲ႔အမၽွ ယင္းႏွင့္ဆက္စပ္ေနတဲ့ တိုးတက္မႈေတြကလဲ မညီမမွ် ေျပာင္းလဲ လာပါတယ္။ ကမၻာ့ဖြံ႕ျဖိဳးမႈအနည္းဆံုးႏိုင္ငံမ်ားမွာ လူဦးေရအလ်င္အျမန္တိုးပြားလာမႈႏွင့္ ရာသီဥတုေျပာင္းလဲမႈေၾကာင့္ ထိခုိက္ ႏိုင္ေျခမ်ားလာမႈတို႔ေၾကာင့္ စဥ္ဆက္မျပတ္ဖြံ႕ျဖိဳးတိုးတက္မႈေဆာင္ရြက္မႈ ေတြမွာ ၾကံဳေတြ႔ ေနရတဲ့  စိန္ေခၚမႈေတြကို ပိုမိုဆိုးရြားလာေစပါတယ္။ အခ်ိဳ႕ႏိုင္ငံေတြမွာ  က်န္းမာသြက္လက္တဲ့ သက္ၾကီး ရြယ္အိုေတြပိုမို ေပၚေပါက္လာေစေရး ႏွင့္ သူတို႔ေတြကို လူမႈအကာအကြယ္ေတြ လံုလံုေလာက္ေလာက္ ရရိွလာေစေရးစတဲ့ ေဆာင္ရြက္ရန္လုိအပ္ခ်က္ေတြ အပါအ၀င္ အျခားသက္ၾကီးရြယ္အို လူဦးေရဆိုင္ရာ စိန္ေခၚမႈေတြကုိ ရင္ဆိုင္ၾကံဳေတြ႕ေနရပါတယ္။ ၂၀၅၀ခုႏွစ္တြင္ ကမၻာ့လူဦးေရ၏ ၆၈ရာခိုင္ႏႈန္းက ျမိဳျပေန လူဦးေရျဖစ္လာမွာႏွင့္ အတူ စဥ္ဆက္မျပတ္ဖြံ႕ျဖိဳးတိုးတက္ေရးႏွင့္ ရာသီဥတုေျပာင္းလဲမႈတို႔ဟာ ကၽြန္ေတာ္တို႔ အားလံုး  ျမိဳ႕ျပဖြံ႕ျဖိဳးတိုးတက္မႈအေပၚ ဘယ္ေလာက္ေကာင္းမြန္ ေအာင္ျမင္စြာ စီမံေဆာင္ရြက္ႏိုင္မလဲဆိုတဲ့ အေပၚ မ်ားစြာမူတည္ေနပါတယ္။

လူဦးေရတိုးတက္ေျပာင္းလဲလာမႈကို စီမံအုပ္ခ်ဳပ္ေဆာင္ရြက္ရာမွာ လည္းကၽြန္ေတာ္တို႔အားလံုး လူဦးေရ ၊ ဖြံ႕ျဖိဳးတိုးတက္မႈႏွင့္ လူတစ္ဦးခ်င္းစီ၏ ေကာင္းက်ိဳးတို႔အၾကား ဆက္ႏြယ္ေနမႈကို အသိအမွတ္ျပဳ သိရိွရမွာ ျဖစ္ပါတယ္။ လြန္ခဲ့တဲ့ ႏွစ္ဆယ့္ငါးႏွစ္က ကိုင္ရိုအျပည္ျပည္ဆိုင္ရာလူဦးေရႏွင့္ ဖြ႔ံျဖိဳးတိုးတက္မႈ  ညီလာခံမွာ ကမၻာ့ေခါင္းေဆာင္ေတြက လူဦးေရ၊ ဖြံ႕ျဖိဳးတိုးတက္မႈႏွင့္ မ်ိဳးဆက္ပြားမႈဆိုင္ရာ အခြင့္အေရးအပါအ၀င္ လူ႔အခြင့္အေရးေတြရဲ႕ ဆက္စပ္အေရးပါမႈ  ေတြကို ေဖာ္ထုတ္ေျပာဆိုခဲ့ၾကပါတယ္။  က်ား/မတန္းတူညီမၽွေရးကို ျမွင့္တင္ေဆာင္ရြက္ျခင္းဟာ မွန္ကန္တဲ့လုပ္ရပ္ျဖစ္သလို စဥ္ဆက္မျပတ္ဖြံ ႕ျဖိဳးတိုးတက္ေရးႏွင့္ လူတိုင္းရဲ႕ေကာင္းက်ိဳးကို တိုးတက္ေစေရးတို႔ကို ေဖာ္ေဆာင္ရာမွာ ယံုၾကည္စိတ္အခ် ရဆံုးလမ္းေၾကာင္းေတြထဲက တစ္ခုအပါအ၀င္ျဖစ္ပါတယ္လို႔ အသိအမွတ္ျပဳ သေဘာတူညီခဲ့ၾကပါတယ္။ ယခုႏွစ္ ကမၻာ့လူဦးေရေန႔က ကိုင္ရိုညီလာခံမွာ ကတိက၀တ္ျပဳခဲ့တဲ့ မျပီးျပတ္ေသးဘဲ က်န္ရိွေနေသးတဲ့ လုပ္ငန္းေတြ ဆက္လက္ေဆာင္ရြက္ၾကဖို႔ ကမၻာတစ္၀ွမ္းသိရိွလာေအာင္ လံႈ႕ေဆာ္ထားပါတယ္။

တိုးတက္မႈအေနနဲ႔ မိခင္ေသဆံုးမႈႏွင့္ မရည္ရြယ္ဘဲကိုယ္၀န္ရရိွမႈေတြ က်ဆင္းသြားေသာ္လည္း  အျခားစိန္ေခၚ မႈေတြကေတာ့ ရိွေနဆဲပါ။ ကမၻာႏွင့္အ၀ွမ္းမွာကၽြန္ေတာ္တို႔ဟာ အမ်ိဳးသမီးအခြင့္အေရးႏွင့္မရိွမျဖစ္က်န္းမာေရး ေစာင့္ေရွာက္မႈေတြရရိွဖို႔ေဆာင္ရြက္ရာမွာ အတားအဆီးမ်ား ရိွေနဆဲပါ။ ကိုယ္၀န္ေဆာင္မႈႏွင့္ဆိုင္ေသာ အေရးကိစၥမ်ားသည္လည္း အသက္၁၅ ႏွစ္မွ ၁၉ႏွစ္အၾကား မိန္းကေလးငယ္  ေတြေသ ဆံုးမႈကိုအဓိက ျဖစ္ေစေသာ အေၾကာင္းျခင္းရာျဖစ္ေနဆဲပါ။ မညီမွ်မႈကို အေျချပဳျပီးေပၚေပါက္လာတဲ့ က်ား/မ အေျချပဳ အၾကမ္းဖက္မႈဟာလည္း စိုးထိတ္ဖြယ္ ဆက္လက္  ျဖစ္ပြားေနဆဲပါ။

ႏို္၀င္ဘာလမွာ ကိုင္ရိုညီလာခံ ႏွစ္ဆယ့္ငါးႏွစ္ျပည့္အခမ္းအနားကို ႏို္င္ရိုဘီတြင္ က်င္းပမွာျဖစ္ပါတယ္။ ကၽြန္ေတာ့္အေနနဲ႔ အဖြဲ႕၀င္ႏိုင္ငံေတြကို အျမင့္ဆံုးအဆင့္အထိ စြမ္းစြမ္းတမံ ပိုမိုပါ၀င္လာျပီး ICPD ရဲ႕ ေရွ႕လုပ္ငန္းစဥ္ေတြကို ပိုမိုနားလည္လာေစဖို႔ ခိုင္မာတဲ့ ႏို္င္ငံေရးႏွင့္ ဘ႑ာေငြေၾကးဆိုင္ရာကတိကတ္ေတြ ခ်မွတ္ေဆာင္ရြက္လာႏိုင္ေစရန္ အားေပးတိုက္တြန္းလိုပါတယ္။

ICPD ၏ေမွ်ာ္မွန္းခ်က္ေတြကို လက္ဆင့္ကမ္းေဖာ္ေဆာင္ရင္း ကၽြန္ေတာ္တို႔အားလံုး မည္သူတစ္ဦး တစ္ေယာက္မွ် မက်န္ရစ္ေစဘဲ ေရရွည္တည္တံ့ေသာ၊ မွ်တညီမွ်ေသာ၊ အားလံုးလႊမ္းျခံဳပါ၀င္သည့္ ဖြ႔ံျဖိဳး တိုးတက္ေရး လမ္းေၾကာင္းေပၚေရာက္ရိွေအာင္ အခြင့္အလမ္းေတြကို ရရိွအေကာင္အထည္ေဖာ္ႏိုင္ မည္ျဖစ္ပါတယ္။

 

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The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is the world’s blueprint for a better future for all on a healthy planet.  On World Population Day, we recognize that this mission is closely interrelated with demographic trends including population growth, ageing, migration and urbanization.

While the world’s population overall continues to increase, this growth is uneven. For many of the world’s least developed countries, the challenges to sustainable development are compounded by rapid population growth as well as vulnerability to climate change. Other countries are facing the challenge of ageing populations, including the need to promote healthy active ageing and to provide adequate social protection. As the world continues to urbanize, with 68% of the world population projected to live in urban areas by 2050, sustainable development and climate change will increasingly depend on the successful management of urban growth.

While managing these population trends, we must also recognize the relationship between population, development and individual well-being.  Twenty-five years ago, at the Cairo International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), world leaders first spelt out the links between population, development and human rights, including reproductive rights. They also recognized that promoting gender equality is both the right thing to do and one of the most reliable pathways to sustainable development and improved well-being for all.

This year’s World Population Day calls for global attention to the unfinished business of the Cairo ICPD Conference.

Despite progress in lowering maternal mortality and unintended pregnancies, many challenges remain. Around the world, we are seeing pushback on women’s rights, including on essential health services.  Issues related to pregnancy are still the leading cause of death among girls aged 15 to 19. Gender-based violence, which is rooted in inequality, continues to take a horrific toll.

In November, a summit marking the 25th anniversary of the Cairo Conference will take place in Nairobi.  I encourage Member States to participate at the highest levels and to make firm political and financial commitments to realize the Programme of Action of the ICPD.

Carrying forward the vision of the ICPD will unlock opportunities for those left behind and help pave the way for sustainable, equitable and inclusive development for all.

 

Update on Myanmar – Statement by UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Kate Gilmore

41st Session to the HRC

 Update on Myanmar

Statement by UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights

Kate Gilmore

Geneva, 10 July 2019, PdN, Room XX

Mr. President,

Excellencies,

Distinguished Members of the Council,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am honored to present on behalf of the High Commissioner to provide you with this oral update pursuant to Human Rights Council Resolution A/HRC/RES/S-27/1 of 5 December 2017, which requested the High Commissioner to track progress concerning the human rights situation of the Rohingya people.

Excellencies,

The situation of the Rohingya community remains dire. More than 730,000 Rohingya men, women and children continue to be confined to desperate humanitarian conditions in Bangladesh, whose government’s efforts in hosting the refugee community in Cox’s Bazar is to be saluted and commended. And as OHCHR continues to document, Rohingya continue to flee northern Rakhine State, who report ongoing serious discrimination, and continuous and systematic violations of their fundamental rights and freedoms.

While the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Government of Myanmar, UNHCR and UNDP on the return of the Rohingya population was extended for an additional year on 28 May 2019, the conditions conducive for refugee return simply do not yet exist and the implementation of programs under the MoU have been tightly constrained.

The Government of Myanmar has taken some steps to implement some recommendations made by the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State (appointed by the Government) but has yet to tackle the most fundamental issues that must be addressed if the requisite enabling environment for returns is to be in place.

Excellencies,

In northern Rakhine State, around 240,000 Rohingya remain from a previous population of approximately one million. Verifying their situation remains difficult due to lack of access by OHCHR and other international actors. However, we continue to receive and verify reports from a variety of sources, including reports on Sexual and Gender Based Violence related cases allegedly committed by members of the security forces.

In a continuation of attacks, it was reported that on 2 and 9 May 2019 Rohingya homes and shops were burned in Maungdaw and Buthidaung townships. Later, on 28 May 2019, reports alleged that the remaining Rohingya houses in Taung Bazar, Buthidaung township, were also burned to the ground. Our information suggests that the authorities have taken no steps to investigate these attacks.

Disappearances of Rohingya continue to be reported, In May, a Rohingya man  newly arrived in Bangladesh, told my colleagues that he fled Myanmar rather than comply with a summons he and three other individuals received to report to the local police station. The three others did report to the police station and their families have not heard from them since.

OHCHR has received numerous reports that Rohingya face harassment, threats, physical violence and at times restrictions on their freedom of movement when they  leave their residences to try to farm their lands, fish or conduct their businesses.  This also limits their access to essential, life sustaining services, including to humanitarian assistance on which many now depend.

In another concerning development, it was reported that the authorities in northern Rakhine State went house-to-house in January to revise the official household registration lists, allegedly removing the names of those not present. If substantiated, the ramifications of this intervention are very serious. For many Rohingya, the household registration lists may be the only official record that establishes their place of origin and rights to their property within Myanmar. Without such proof of residence, returning to their places of origin or reclaim of their property may well be impossible while access to basic services, including healthcare, education, or other essential Government services can be denied.

The situation of the estimated 126,000 Rohingya, mostly IDPs, who live in central Rakhine is of equal concern. The appalling living conditions that they are forced to endure – lack of access to basic services, including poor levels of nutrition, water, adequate shelter, healthcare, and education – are once again more acute during the monsoon season.

While the Government has moved to close some IDP camps as part of its draft national strategy to provide new locations with improved infrastructure, it seems that the Rohingya themselves have not been consulted, and few of the new settlements are in their places of origin. Given restrictions on their freedom of movement and lack of access to sustainable livelihoods, these new settlements will likely further entrench segregation and dependency on humanitarian aid.  It is clear that human rights standards affirmed by this Council require that the Government ensure its strategy for the closure of IDP camps complies with international standards, addresses the root causes of displacement, and that the IDPs are fully and appropriately consulted in its design and implementation.

Excellencies,

The Government also continues to require Rohingya to apply for the National Verification Card or NVC which it says will enable them to access services and pursue unimpeded their livelihoods. However, the NVC does not enable this.  It only permits the Rohingya to be identified as “Bengali”, denying them the right of self-identification as Rohingya. Also, the application for the NVC card requires the applicant to indicate the exact date they entered Myanmar, even if they were born in the country and never left its territory. In other words, the NVC suggests that the holder is somehow other than a citizen of Myanmar: a foreigner seeking to enter or remain in the country.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The situation for both Rohingya and ethnic Rakhine communities in Rakhine state has been further exacerbated by the conflict between the Arakan Army and the Tadmadaw.  More than 300 armed clashes have been reported since December 2018 in northern Rakhine state and southern Chin State, with some in more central areas. Government restrictions on humanitarian and media access to the conflict-affected areas have limited the information available, but reports indicate that the violence may have resulted in significant losses on both sides, as well as civilian casualties and 30,000 people displaced. In one incident on 3 April, a helicopter gunship allegedly fired at an area where Rohingyas are known to cultivate bamboo. Around seven Rohingyas were killed and 20 others were injured, although sources later indicated the death toll may have been much higher. OHCHR has also received reports of at least 14 Rakhine men accused of membership of or support to the Arakan Army who are believed to have died while in the custody of the security forces between March and June – the families alleging they were subjected to torture and other mistreatment.

Government restrictions on humanitarian aid have cut off an estimated 95,000 people from basic services – compounded by arrests of ethnic Rakhine local officials accused of supporting the Arakan Army and the resignations of others that has created a vacuum in local governance in some areas. Furthermore, a dozen media outlets have reported being subjected to threats from anonymous sources while criminal cases were filed against the editors of the Burmese edition of The Irrawaddy and The Development Media Group in April and May 2019 for reporting on the conflict.

In recent months, the Government has continued its own investigations into human rights violations in Rakhine State. The Independent Commission of Inquiry appointed in 2018 by the Government assisted by two international experts, has yet to produce its first report.  In April 2019, the Tatmadaw also established a military Court of Inquiry to investigate alleged terrorist attacks and human rights violations under the Defense Service Rules.  Several other investigations have been conducted by the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission and local parliamentarians. As previously reported, these steps are not sufficient to promote accountability given the gravity and scale of the crimes allegedly committed.

Against a background such as this, the full operationalization of the Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar, mandated by this Council, is of particular importance. We welcome the commencement by the Head of the Mechanism, Mr. Nicholas Koumjian, of his functions on 1 July 2019, and will, together with the Office of Legal Affairs, continue to work closely with him and his team as the Mechanism moves quickly towards full operationalization.

Mr. President,

The Government of Myanmar can and must take urgent steps to reverse this situation and to end the statelessness of the Rohingya.  They must establish a credible process for recognition of their citizenship status and the conditions conducive for the return of all refugees and IDPs to their places of origin in compliance with international law. Furthermore, the Government must act to bring the continuing violations of human rights to an end, and ensure that the grave crimes that have been committed against the Rohingya, and now the ethnic Rakhine community, are properly, transparently, impartially and fully investigated and that those who are responsible for such crimes are held accountable according to the rule of law.

Thank you.

MEDIA ADVISORY – Special Rapporteur on situation of human rights in Myanmar to visit Thailand and Malaysia

GENEVA (5 July 2019) – The Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Yanghee Lee, will visit Thailand and Malaysia from 8-18 July 2019.

“Despite Myanmar’s position, I will continue to reach out and seek to engage to provide the Government with assistance on human rights issues,” the Special Rapporteur said. Myanmar refuses to cooperate with the Special Rapporteur, and will not allow her access to the country.

Lee will hold a news conference at 4 pm on 18 July at the Marriott Hotel in Kuala Lumpur. Access will be strictly limited to journalists. The Special Rapporteur will present her findings and recommendations to the 74th session of the General Assembly in New York in October 2019.

ENDS

 Ms. Yanghee Lee (Republic of Korea) was appointed by the UN Human Rights Council in 2014 as the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar. She is independent from any government or organization and serves in her individual capacity. 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.

 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. Special Procedures mandate-holders are independent human rights experts appointed by the Human Rights Council to address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. They are not UN staff and are independent from any government or organization. They serve in their individual capacity and do not receive a salary for their work.

UN Human Rights, country page: Myanmar

 For more information and media requests please contact: Georgia Drake (+41-22928 9780 or +41-79444 3993 / gdrake@ohchr.org).

 For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts: Jeremy Laurence, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / jlaurence@ohchr.org)

Myanmar: Expert calls for continued pressure as situation reaches “human rights crisis”

GENEVA (3 July 2019) – A UN human rights expert implored the international community to maintain pressure on Myanmar amid a deterioration of human rights in the country, citing concerns about possible war crimes in Rakhine State, the treatment of minorities, the environment and freedom of expression.

The Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Yanghee Lee, addressed the Human Rights Council in Geneva and welcomed the Government’s reforms to the accounting requirements of extractive industry State-owned economic enterprises. “This is an opportunity for the Government to improve transparency in the sector, and to ensure that departments tasked with enforcing environmental and social safeguards are properly resourced,” the expert said.

However, Lee expressed serious concerns about the lack of enforcement of adequate environmental safeguards in natural resource extraction and associated industries.

In Hpakant, a pool of mine waste burst in April, flooding a nearby open pit mine and killing 54 workers. Pollution caused by the coal-powered Alpha Cement Factory in Mandalay led to protests that were violently suppressed by authorities. Independent scientific testing of air, water and hair samples taken near the coal-powered Tigyit Power Plant in Shan State found the plant to be leaching dangerous levels of toxic heavy metals into the surrounding environment.

Lee told the Council that freedom of expression continued to be stifled through draconian laws used to suppress criticism of the Tatmadaw, particularly in relation to reporting on the conflict with the Arakan Army in northern Rakhine State and parts of southern Chin State. The conflict has continued over the past few months and the impact on civilians is devastating, Lee said.

Acts of the Tatmadaw and the Arakan Army may amount to war crimes, the Special Rapporteur said. Indiscriminate attacks in and around villages as well as targeting of civilians and civilian objects, including monasteries hosting IDPs, has left scores of civilians wounded and dead. “I again call on all parties to uphold international humanitarian law and respect human rights law,” said Lee.

Lee said that Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar are being subjected to a human rights crisis, responsibility for which lies with Myanmar. It is entirely Myanmar’s responsibility to bring about all necessary conditions for all the people they forcibly drove out to return and they are entirely failing to do so, she said.

“So long as impunity for alleged atrocity crimes prevails, we will continue to bear witness to flagrant violations of rights perpetrated against ethnic minority populations in the name of counterinsurgency, entrenching grievances and prolonging insecurity and instability,” the Special Rapporteur said.

Lee repeated her call that the situation of Myanmar be referred to the International Criminal Court, and that alternatively the international community establish an independent tribunal in which perpetrators of international crimes may be tried.

“It is incumbent on the Security Council to find a way to put differences aside and unite in relation to Myanmar by coming out with a strong resolution,” said Lee. “The situation is not improving, and serious violations continue to take place on a regular basis.”

ENDS 

Ms. Yanghee Lee (Republic of Korea) was appointed by the UN Human Rights Council in 2014 as the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar. She is independent from any government or organization and serves in her individual capacity. 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.

 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. Special Procedures mandate-holders are independent human rights experts appointed by the Human Rights Council to address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. They are not UN staff and are independent from any government or organization. They serve in their individual capacity and do not receive a salary for their work.

 UN Human Rights, country page: Myanmar

 For more information and media requests please contact: Georgia Drake (+41-22928 9780 or +41-79444 3993 / gdrake@ohchr.org).

 For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts: Jeremy Laurence, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / jlaurence@ohchr.org

 

Myanmar: UN expert ‘fears for civilians’ after Internet shutdown 

Myanmar: UN expert ‘fears for civilians’ after Internet shutdown 

GENEVA (24 June 2019) – The Myanmar Government’s shutdown of mobile data networks in nine townships could have serious implications for human rights and humanitarian monitoring in the conflict areas of Rakhine and Chin States, a UN expert warned on Monday.

“As there is no media access and serious restrictions on humanitarian organisations in the conflict-affected area, the entire region is in a blackout,” said Yanghee Lee, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar. “I fear for all civilians there, cut off and without the necessary means to communicate with people inside and outside the area.”

Recent reports allege violations of human rights and international humanitarian law to have been committed against the civilian population by both parties to the conflict in the last six months.

On 20 June, the Ministry of Transport and Communications issued an order to all mobile network providers under the Telecommunications Law 2013 to temporarily stop mobile internet services. The Ministry cited disturbances to the peace and internet services being used to coordinate illegal activities for the shutdown.

There are credible reports that on 19 June, the Tatmadaw conducted helicopter attacks in Minbya Township in central Rakhine. The following day, the Arakan Army fired on a navy ship in Sittwe, killing and injuring several soldiers.

“I am told that the Tatmadaw is now conducting a ‘clearance operation’, which we all know by now can be a cover for committing gross human rights violations against the civilian population,” the UN expert said. “We must not forget that these are the same security forces that have so far avoided accountability for the atrocities committed against the Rohingya in Rakhine State less than two years ago.”

The conflict between the Arakan Army and the Tatmadaw has been ongoing since late 2018, with civilians bearing the brunt of the violence. Over 35,000 civilians have been displaced and dozens of civilians, including children, have been killed and injured by both indiscriminate and targeted attacks. Others, mainly ethnic Rakhine men, have died while in the military’s custody.

“I call on the Government to reverse its decision to impose the mobile internet ban,” Lee said. “Both parties to the conflict must ensure that civilians and civilian objects are protected at all times and uphold international humanitarian law. The restrictions on the media and humanitarian organisations must be lifted immediately.”

ENDS

Ms. Yanghee Lee (Republic of Korea) was appointed by the UN Human Rights Council in 2014 as the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar. She is independent from any government or organization and serves in her individual capacity. 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.

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. Special Procedures mandate-holders are independent human rights experts appointed by the Human Rights Council to address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. They are not UN staff and are independent from any government or organization. They serve in their individual capacity and do not receive a salary for their work.

UN Human Rights, country page: Myanmar

For more information and media requests please contact: Georgia Drake (+41-22928 9780 or +41-79444 3993 / gdrake@ohchr.org).

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts: Jeremy Laurence, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / jlaurence@ohchr.org

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

MESSAGE FOR WORLD REFUGEE DAY

20 June 2019

On World Refugee Day, my thoughts are with the more than 70 million women, children and men – refugees and internally displaced persons — who have been forced to flee war, conflict and persecution.

This is an astonishing number – twice what it was 20 years ago.

Most of the forcibly displaced came from just a handful of countries: Syria, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Myanmar and Somalia. In the past 18 months, millions more have fled Venezuela.

I want to recognize the humanity of countries that host refugees even as they struggle with their own economic challenges and security concerns.

We must match their hospitality with development and investment.

It is regrettable that their example is not followed by all.  We must re-establish the integrity of the international protection regime.

The Global Compact on Refugees, adopted last December, offers a blueprint for modern refugee response.

What refugees need most urgently is peace.

Millions of people around the world have joined UNHCR’s World Refugee Day campaign and are taking steps, big and small, in solidarity with refugees. Will you take a step with refugees too?

Thank you.

 

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

MESSAGE ON INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR THE ELIMINATION OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE IN CONFLICT

19 June 2019

 Sexual violence in conflict is a threat to our collective security and a stain on our common humanity.

It is used as a tactic of war, to terrorize people and to destabilize societies.

Its effects can echo across generations through trauma, stigma, poverty, long-term health issues and unwanted pregnancy.

On the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, we must hear the survivors, and recognize their needs and demands.

They are mostly women and girls, but also men and boys, calling for our support to access life-saving health services, justice and reparation.

Today we also honor those working on the frontlines, directly assisting victims to rebuild their lives.

Our global response must include more concerted action to ensure accountability for the perpetrators – and to address the gender inequality that fuels these atrocities.

Together, we can and must replace impunity with justice; and indifference with action.

Thank you.

Secretary-General António Guterres’s remarks at press encounter at launch of United Nations Strategy and Plan of Action on Hate Speech

New York, 18 June 2019

Secretary-General: Good afternoon.

Hate speech is a direct assault on our core values of tolerance, inclusion and respect for human rights and human dignity. It sets groups against each other, contributes to violence and conflict, and undermines all our efforts for peace, stability and sustainable development. As such, addressing it is a priority for the entire United Nations system.

Around the world, we see a groundswell of xenophobia, racism and intolerance, violent misogyny, anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim hatred. In some parts of the world, Christian communities are also under attack. While hate speech has always existed, the new element today is digital communications and specifically, social media platforms. They are making hate speech more virulent than ever, amplifying it and enabling it to move farther and faster.

Hate-filled content is reaching new audiences at lightning speed and has been linked with violence and killings from Sri Lanka to New Zealand and the United States. It is also used by extremist groups to recruit and radicalize people online.

Political leaders in some countries are adopting the slogans and ideas of these groups, demonizing the vulnerable and weakening the standards of decency in public discourse that have served us for decades.

In the face of this, we all – the United Nations, governments, the private sector, academia, civil society, the international community as a whole – need to step up. That is why I asked my Special Adviser for the Prevention of Genocide, Adama Dieng, to prepare the Strategy and Plan of Action on Hate Speech we are launching today in cooperation with a large number of UN entities.

This strategy aims to coordinate our efforts across the whole United Nations system, addressing the root causes of hate speech, and making our response more effective.

Many of our programmes to support implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development are already tackling hate speech, by promoting gender equality and human rights, and addressing discrimination of all kinds. But we need to speed up, strengthen and expand the reach of these activities, focused around a defined strategy so that they are as coordinated and as effective as possible.

The strategy includes actions for offices both at headquarters and in the field, and at national and global level.  I have asked United Nations agencies and offices to prepare their own plans, aligned with this Strategy and in coordination with my Special Envoy for the Prevention of Genocide.

Ladies and gentlemen of the media,

I would like to mention one aspect of this strategy that is particularly relevant to you.

All action aimed at addressing and confronting hate speech must be consistent with fundamental human rights.

The United Nations supports freedom of expression and opinion everywhere.

Addressing hate speech does not mean limiting or prohibiting freedom of speech. It means keeping hate speech from escalating into something more dangerous, particularly incitement to discrimination, hostility and violence, which is prohibited under international law.

We need to treat hate speech as we treat every malicious act: by condemning it, refusing to amplify it, countering it with the truth, and encouraging the perpetrators to change their behaviour.

This is clearly not something we can do alone.

We are counting on the support of governments, civil society, the private sector and in particular, you, the members of the media.

Because tackling the poison of hate speech is everybody’s responsibility.

Thank you.

**Questions and Answers

Spokesman:  Thank you. Pam?

Question:  Thank you very much, Mr. Secretary‑General, Under‑Secretary‑General. It’s Pamela Falk from CBS News.  Mr. Secretary‑General, in your talk, you said liberal democracies… some liberal democracies are bringing hate‑fueled ideas to the public discourse and weakening the social fabric. Can you elaborate on which liberal democracies or name a few and say why it’s happening now? Something must have sparked it – gaps in education?

Secretary-General:  I didn’t mention only liberal democracies. I said that, unfortunately, both in liberal democracies and in authoritarian regimes, we see some political leaders, to a certain extent, mainstreaming what has been, until now, particularly the expression of extremist groups and, with that, undermining the social cohesion of their societies. And I believe that we have seen it in some recent electoral campaigns.

Spokesman:  Nabil.

Correspondent:  Thank you.

Spokesman:  Thank you.

Question:  Mr. Secretary‑General, first, what’s your comment on the death of the former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi?  And, on the situation in Idlib, how do you see the situation there? What’s your message? Do you think that the Turkish‑Russian agreement is still hold and still enough to keep people safe? Thank you.

Secretary-General:  Well, I thank you very much for your questions and, in particular, for the question about Idlib. I am deeply concerned about the escalation of the fighting in Idlib, and the situation is especially dangerous, given the involvement of an increased number of actors. Yet again, civilians are paying a horrific price. And let me underscore that, even in the fight against terrorism, there needs to be full compliance with international human rights and humanitarian law.

I appeal in particular to the Astana guarantors — and to the Russian Federation and Turkey, especially, as the signatories of the September 2018 Memorandum of Understanding on Idleb — to stabilize the situation without delay.

As I have said repeatedly, there is no military solution to the Syrian crisis. It was clear at the start and it remains clear more than eight years later that the solution must be political.

In relation to the first question you have asked, the Human Rights High Commissioner has already today the occasion to pronounce herself.

Spokesman:  Majeed.

Question:  Thank you. Thank you, Stéphane. My name is Majeed Gly, Rudaw Media Network. Mr. Secretary‑General, I would like to start my question by showing you the picture of a victim of a hate crime, of a new wave under‑reported hate crime, from Iraq, from the Iraqi city of Kirkuk. Her name is Lamia Salah. Her and her family, after the liberation and the end of ISIS in Iraq, has been under constant threat and harassment, just because she’s a Sunni, she’s a Kurd, by sectarian militias in a systematic attempt to change a demography of Iraq in the post‑conflict that we see now.  Are you concerned that the same hate speech, sectarianism, that led to the emergence of ISIS that will help to re‑emerge the most dangerous terrorist organization in the world?

Secretary-General:  Well, I’m not in a position to particularly mention any individual case that I do not know, but it is clear that, in several situations around the world, we have seen, in the past, hate speech be an instrument of ethnic cleansing ‑‑ look at Myanmar ‑‑ or of genocide; look at Rwanda.  So, indeed, hate speech can have consequences that go far beyond the dramatic limitation of human rights of small groups or communities. Hate speech can be a trigger of some of the worst crimes that humanity has seen.

Spokesman:  James?

Question:  [Off mic] In a post‑conflict, post‑ISIS, liberated areas in Iraq, do you have any conf… comments… [Cross talk]

Secretary-General:  No, it is absolutely essential in those areas that are liberated to promote the conditions for social cohesion, to promote the dialogue among different communities, to make sure that each community feels that their rights are respected but that they belong to the nation as a whole.

Spokesman:  James.

Question:  James Bays, Al Jazeera. First, on hate speech, you mentioned political leaders encouraging hate speech. You’re not being specific. Would it not have more impact if you were to name and shame?  Secondly, the situation in the Gulf, you said that tensions need to be reduced. The answer to that from President [Donald] Trump is to send 1,000 more troops. Do you think that is constructive?

Secretary-General:  Well, in relation to hate speech, my objective today is not to name or shame any individual, because, unfortunately, we are dealing with something that has spread very widely, and I think we need to be conscious that we are facing a massive phenomenon, not just something that one or two persons are able to interpret.  And, so, I think that, if I name and shame, the only thing that would be broadcasted would be the naming and shaming, and what I want is the substance of the issue to be dealt with. So, it’s a strategy that I have been applying and I intend to go on applying whenever it makes sense.

In relation to the Gulf, we are worried, as I said. It’s very important to avoid any escalation, and I strongly hope that the situation will be contained, because, as I said, and I repeat, the world does not really need a major confrontation in the Gulf.

Spokesman:  Linda.

Question:  Mr. Secretary‑General, in terms of the prevalence of hate speech, you mentioned that, in Myanmar, it played a significant role in fomenting violence against the Rohingya. I was wondering in what other countries, for example Mali or Central African Republic, DRC (Democratic Republic of the Congo), where hate speech is playing a really significant role, or are there countries that you feel it’s very deadly versus… I mean, there are different levels of hate speech. So, really, the question is, where is it most significant?

Secretary-General:  Well, in many of the conflict situations that we are witnessing in which we see community against community for ethnic or religious reasons, the truth is that hate speech usually plays a part. And, of course, the more a society is Internet‑connected, the more that kind of impact becomes dramatic.

Spokesman:  Great. Thank you very much.

Secretary-General:  Thank you.

 

Message on the 2019 International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia

17 May 2019

The United Nations in Myanmar is proud to mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia by flying the rainbow flag in support of diversity and inclusion for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons (LGBTI).

This day marks the decision of the World Health Organization to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder on 17 May 1990.

We have seen encouraging progress worldwide, but LGBTI people still experience discrimination and stigma in many countries, including in Myanmar.

Recent studies by the International Labour Organization and the International Finance Corporation in Myanmar have told us that teasing, bullying and sexual harassment happens frequently in work places.

As Myanmar transforms in so many ways, it is time to change this. People should be allowed to be who they are and love who they want.

Myanmar has made an important commitment in its Sustainable Development Plan to “introduce and enforce regulations and protections related to workplace safety, inclusivity and non-discrimination in all forms.”

The United Nations shares that commitment and stands ready to support Myanmar in creating environment in which everyone can live free and equal in dignity and rights.

As UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said, “The United Nations stands up for the rights of the LGBTI community.”

So let us join hands to nurture and celebrate diversity and protect everyone from any form of harassment or abuse.

 

၂၀၁၉ ခုႏွစ္ အျပည္ျပည္ဆိုင္ရာ လိင္တူခ်င္း ခ်စ္ျခင္းႏွင့္ ဆန္႔က်င္ဖက္လိင္ကဲ့သို႔ျပဳမူေနထိုင္ျခင္းမ်ားအား             မုန္းတီးျခင္းကိုဆန္႔က်င္ေသာေန႔ သဝဏ္လႊာ

၂၀၁၉ ခုႏွစ္ ေမလ (၁၇) ရက္။

ျမန္မာႏိုင္ငံရွိ ကုလသမဂၢအဖြဲ႔အစည္းမ်ားသည္ မတူကြဲျပားျခင္းႏွင့္ LGBTI* တို႔၏ ပါဝင္မႈကို အားေပးသည့္အေနျဖင့္  အျပည္ျပည္ဆိုင္ရာ လိင္တူခ်င္း ခ်စ္ျခင္းႏွင့္ ဆန္႔က်င္ဖက္လိင္ကဲ့သို႔ ျပဳမူေနထိုင္ျခင္းမ်ားအား မုန္းတီးျခင္းကို ဆန္႔က်င္ေသာေန႔တြင္ သက္တန္႔ေရာင္အလံကို ဂုဏ္ယူစြာ လႊင့္တင္ပါသည္။

ဤေန႔သည္ ၁၉၉၀ ခုႏွစ္ ေမလ (၁၇) ရက္ေန႔တြင္ ကမၻာ့က်န္းမာေရးအဖြဲ႔မွ လိင္တူဆက္ဆံျခင္းကို စိတ္ေရာဂါအျဖစ္ မသတ္မွတ္ေတာ့ရန္ ဆံုးျဖတ္ခဲ့သည္ကို အထိမ္းအမွတ္ျပဳျခင္းျဖစ္သည္။

ကမၻာတစ္ဝွမ္းတြင္ အားရဖြယ္ တိုးတက္မႈရွိေနသည္ကို ေတြ႔ရေသာ္လည္း ျမန္မာႏိုင္ငံအပါအဝင္ ႏုိင္ငံမ်ားစြာတို႔တြင္မူ LGBTI မ်ားသည္ ခဲြျခားဆက္ဆံမႈႏွင့္  ဖယ္ၾကဥ္ျခင္းကို ခံစားေနရပါသည္။

အျပည္ျပည္ဆိုင္ရာအလုပ္သမားအဖြဲ႔ ႏွင့္ အျပည္ျပည္ဆိုင္ရာဘ႑ာေရးေကာ္ပိုေရးရွင္း တို႔၏ မၾကာေသးမီက ေလ့လာခ်က္မ်ားအရ ျမန္မာႏိုင္ငံတြင္ လုပ္ငန္းခြင္မ်ား၌ ေနာက္ေျပာင္က်ီစယ္ျခင္း၊ ႏိုင္ထက္စီးနင္းျပဳျခင္းႏွင့္ လိင္ပိုင္းဆုိင္ရာေႏွာက္ယွက္မႈမ်ားကို မၾကာခဏ ျဖစ္ပြားေနသည္ဟု ဆိုပါသည္။

ျမန္မာႏိုင္ငံသည္ ျပဳျပင္ေျပာင္းလဲလာသည္ႏွင့္အမွ် ဤအမူအက်င့္မ်ားမွာလည္း ေျပာင္းလဲရန္ လုိအပ္ပါသည္။  လူတို႔သည္ မိမိ၏ ပကတိအရွိကို အရွိအတို္င္း ေနခြင့္ရွိၿပီး၊ မိမိခ်စ္ျခင္းေမတၱာရွိေနသူႏွင့္ ေမတၱာမွ်ပိုင္ခြင့္ ရွိရပါမည္။

ျမန္မာႏိုင္ငံ၏ စဥ္ဆက္မျပတ္ဖြံ႔ၿဖိဳးမႈအစီအစဥ္တြင္ “အလုပ္ခြင္အႏၱရာယ္ကင္းစင္ေရး၊ ပါဝင္မႈႏွင့္ ခြဲျခားဆက္ဆံမႈ ပံုစံအားလံုုးဆိုင္ရာ စည္းမ်ဥ္းမ်ားႏွင့္ အကာအကြယ္မ်ား ခ်မွတ္ေပးရန္ ျမန္မာႏိုင္ငံအေနျဖင့္ အေရးႀကီးသည့္ ကတိကဝတ္ ျပဳထားပါသည္။

ဤကတိကဝတ္ကို ကုလသမဂၢမွလည္း ခံယူထားၿပီး လူတိုင္း လြတ္လပ္စြာ တူညီေသာ ဂုဏ္သိကၡာႏွင့္ ရပိုင္ခြင့္မ်ား ရွိသည့္ပတ္ဝန္းက်င္တည္ေဆာက္ႏုိ္င္ရန္ ျမန္မာႏိုင္ငံကို ပ့ံပိုးကူညီသြားမည္ျဖစ္သည္။

ကုသလမဂၢသည္ LGBTI အသိုင္းအဝန္း၏ ရပိုင္ခြင့္ဘက္မွ ရပ္တည္သြားမည္ဟု ကုလသမဂၢအတြင္းေရးမႈးခ်ဳပ္ Antonio Guterres က ေျပာၾကားခဲ့ပါသည္။

မည္သူမဆို ေႏွာက္ယွက္ေစာ္ကားျခင္းမွ အကာအကြယ္ရႏိုင္ရန္ မတူကြဲျပားျခင္းကို ျပဳစုပ်ိဳးေထာင္ရန္ အားလံုးအတူ လက္တြဲ ေဆာင္ရြက္ၾကပါစို႔။

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L= lesbian = အမ်ိဳးသမီးခ်င္းႏွစ္သက္ေသာသူ / လိင္တူခ်စ္သူ

G = gay = အမ်ိဳးသားခ်င္းႏွစ္သက္သူ / လိင္တူခ်စ္သူ

B = bisexual = လိင္တူလိင္ကြဲ ႏွစ္မ်ိဳးလုံးႏွစ္သက္သူ /

T = transgender = ဆန္႔က်င္ဘက္လိင္ကဲ့သို႔ေျပာင္းလဲဝတ္ဆင္ ေနထိုင္သူမ်ား

I = intersex = က်ားမလိင္အဂၤါႏွစ္မ်ိဳးလုံးရိွသူ