United Nations


A friend , who works with women here, mentioned to me recently that someone she knows working in the UN had complained to her about this column.
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In an exclusive interview with Mizzima before he finishes his post, US Ambassador Derek Mitchell talked with Mizzima Editor-in-Chief Soe Myint about a range of issues, principally the victory of the National League for Democracy, the ongoing peace process, and concerns about Myanmar’s relationship with North Korea.
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Opium production in Burma has stabilized for a third year, the United Nations said on Tuesday, but remained a daunting challenge for the untested government of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi that takes power in February.
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Myanmar has come under renewed pressure to lift itself from the bottom rung of countries to have ratified key international human rights treaties.
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More than 600,000 people in Burma need food assistance due to natural disasters, violence and conflict, the UN World Food Programme said on Wednesday, announcing a $40 million funding shortfall for food aid through June 2016.
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The United Nations General Assembly’s human rights committee on Wednesday criticized Myanmar for its treatment of the nation’s Muslim minority and urged the Southeast Asian country to change its citizenship rules to make Rohingya full citizens. (more…)

Amnesty International and FIDH have call on all UN member states to recognize the continued need for a resolution on the situation of human rights in Myanmar at the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), in light of the ongoing human rights violations taking place in the country, the two organisations said in a joint statement on 16 November. (more…)

Welcoming the recent elections in Myanmar as ‘a new chapter in the country’s history,’ United Nations Special Rapporteur Yanghee Lee today reaffirmed her commitment to work with all parties in the country to improve the human rights situation there, saying “the people have expressed the will for change. There is no turning back now.” the UN News Centre reported on 16 November. (more…)

Over the last two months, I have travelled to many parts of this country, taking stock of the elections. I’ve been to Sagaing, to Mandalay, to Shan and Kachin. Earlier I was in Mon, Magwe and Bago [Pegu]. Everywhere I’ve met with political parties, with government officials, and with the Election Commission.
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The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today expressed deep concern at the continuous resort to hate speech, provocation of communal hostilities and the abuse of religion for political purposes, incited by “extreme element among the majority community in Myanmar”.
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There is “strong evidence” that Myanmar has committed genocide against Rohingya Muslims, according to a Yale law school report that called for a United Nations commission of inquiry to focus world leaders’ attention on abuses in western Rakhine state.
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Does Myanmar’s systematic persecution of its ethnic Rohingya population legally constitute genocide? And, if so, who should be held accountable?

New legal analysis by Yale Law School’s Lowenstein Clinic in conjunction with rights group Fortify Rights presents strong evidence to suggest that genocide is being committed against the Muslim minority group by Myanmar state actors, including the army, police and a recently disbanded border security force known as Nasaka.
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A United Nations independent expert today called on all those in positions of authority in Myanmar to ensure that respect for the human rights of all must be at the core of the historic elections due to take place in 10 days’ time.
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Htoi Pan vividly recalls the moment when the fighter jets streaked across the sky over her village in northern Myanmar, piercing the calm of that late June morning.
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Burma’s human rights record over the past four and a half years will be put under the microscope next month when the country is scheduled for review by the UN Human Rights Council, just two days before a highly anticipated general election.
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Fighting has flared in areas of Myanmar controlled by ethnic rebels who refused to sign a ceasefire, raising fears the army is pressuring groups that did not join in what was supposed to be a crowning achievement of President Thein Sein’s five-year term.
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After nearly a week of taking blows for everything from the peace process to “atrocious” conditions at internally displaced persons camps to the disenfranchisement of hundreds of thousands of ethnic minority voters, foreign minister U Wunna Maung Lwin struck back at the UN this weekend.
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When 40 Myanmar youth leaders gathered at the Social Good Summit on September 26, it was clear there was one topic on their minds.
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The upcoming elections represent a milestone in Myanmar’s transition to democracy, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today, adding that their credibility will depend on acceptance of its outcome among the political leaders and the broader population.
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The United Nations welcomes Myanmar’s signature of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict.
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