United Nations


The UN Secretary-General’s Special Advisor on Burma Vijay Nambiar on Monday concluded his eighth official visit to the country in the past year, after a week in which he met a host of senior officials in Naypyidaw, discussed the resumption of international aid with community leaders in Arakan State and attended a round of ceasefire talks in Rangoon as an observer.
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A new U.N. report points to a sharp increase in numbers of boat people mostly from Myanmar, also known as Burma, and Bangladesh.  Activists fear a further surge of refugee boat people, especially ethnic Rohingya fleeing squalid refugee camps and persecution in Myanmar.
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The UN on Monday (Aug 18) warned that widespread criminal activity in Myanmar was undermining stability and development, as it hailed a new partnership with the government to tackle “significant” crime and drug problems in the impoverished country.
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The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) finalised a four-year memorandum of understanding with the Burmese government on Monday, allowing them to partner on an “integrated programme” aimed at strengthening the rule of law and tackling crime and drug issues.
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Myanmar released dozens of children and young adults from its armed forces, known as the Tatmadaw, the United Nations today confirmed, welcoming also efforts to get the people away from guns and into classrooms.
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Senior officials from the United Nations and China have told armed ethnic groups meeting at Laiza in Kachin State that they are ready to assist in efforts to ensure the success of negotiations for a nationwide ceasefire.
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Concluding a ten-day visit to Burma, the UN’s new special rapporteur on human rights, Yanghee Lee, painted a decidedly mixed picture of the country’s ongoing reform process at a press conference held at Rangoon airport on Saturday evening. She described the conditions in displacement camps across the state as “deplorable,” while noting that she had been advised during her visit to Arakan State to avoid using the word “Rohingya” when addressing the issue.
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(This is an edited version of the statement made by the United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar, Ms Yanghee Lee, in a news conference at Yangon International Airport on July 26. There may have been departures from the text of the statement as it was delivered by Ms Lee at the news conference).
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Yanghee Lee, the new UN rapporteur on the human rights situation in Burma, visited the Arakan State capital Sittwe and has met with leaders of the Arakanese Buddhist and Rohingya Muslim communities in the troubled region, local sources said.
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Yanghee Lee, the new UN special envoy to Myanmar for human rights visited the Insein Prison in Yangon this morning, after she arrived in the country yesterday.
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The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has ruled on the case of ethnic Kachin farmer Brawn Yung, who is serving a 21-year sentence in Myitkyina Prison, and called on the Burmese government to immediately release him and offer reparations because his detention is illegal.
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The UN’s newly appointed special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar will begin her first visit to the country later this week.
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To mark World Drug Day, Burmese authorities organized drug-burning ceremonies on Thursday that destroyed seized illegal drugs said to be worth a combined US$130 million.
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The United Nations Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator has stressed the need for improved access to people in need of humanitarian assistance in Myanmar and has described conditions in a camp for internally displaced persons in Rakhine State as “appalling”.
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The primary concern for UNICEF is the plight of children in Arakan State, and not the lexicon employed to describe members of the community, says Bertrand Bainvel, the agency’s leading official in Burma.
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The United Nations Children’s Fund has insisted it did not apologise for using the word “Rohingya” during a recent presentation to local partners in Rakhine State.
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The United Nations children’s agency said “spiralling” Myanmar rents had put humanitarian budgets under pressure on Thursday as it confirmed it pays nearly $90,000 a month for its Yangon office.
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This week The Irrawaddy reported that the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) is paying an exorbitant fee for its Rangoon office, which it rents from Nyunt Tin, a former general in Burma’s previous military junta.
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I am writing to address misconceptions that your readers may have following an Irrawaddy article on 19 May 2014, where it is incorrectly implied that UNICEF has not been cautious or wise in its choice of office space in Yangon.
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With increased fighting in parts of Myanmar that is preventing access to civilians, the United Nations and humanitarian partners today said they were seriously concerned by the displacement of thousands of people over the past weeks and called for an end to the fighting.
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