United Nations


The United Nation’s (UN) refugee agency, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), is conducting a “last call” resettlement initiative for Burmese refugees living in Thailand who wish to resettle in the United States.

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As a United Nations committee reviewing Burma’s compliance with an international convention on women’s rights prepares to submit its conclusions this week, women’s groups from the country said they were encouraged by the new government’s receptivity to their input, but worried about its stance on some of the issues.

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The government is to defend a package of four controversial “protection of race and religion” laws at a key UN meeting on discrimination against women in Myanmar being held in Geneva tomorrow.

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Three NGO groups have spoken up in a UN forum on issues of discrimination and rights of women in Myanmar. The following is the oral statement by Amnesty International, the Women Peace Network-Arakan and The Arakan Project in light of the review of Myanmar’s fourth and fifth combined report to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women:

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Ms Yanghee Lee, the UN Special Rapporteur on Myanmar, made a statement at the end of her 12-day visit to Myanmar on Friday. Here is her statement in full.

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The UN and the international community should support ongoing reforms inside Burma instead of focusing on human rights abuses perpetrated by the former government, said President’s Office Spokesman Zaw Htay, in response to a fresh criticism from the UN over Burma’s treatment of religious and ethnic minorities—in particular the Muslim Rohingya.

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Myanmar has banned its officials from referring to the oppressed Muslim minority as Rohingya, instead insisting they are called “people who believe in Islam”.

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The United Nations rights chief today welcomed the release of a second wave of 83 prisoners on Myanmar’s New Year last Sunday, by Presidential amnesty.
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At least 21 people including nine children died after a boat capsized in rough waters off the coast of Myanmar’s restive Rakhine state on Tuesday, a UN spokesman said.
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It has been a long, hard road, but Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is finally set to assume the role of Myanmar’s top civilian leader. Her National League for Democracy party won a landslide victory last November in the country’s first free election in a quarter century. But a provision in Myanmar’s military-drafted Constitution barred Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, from becoming president because her children are British citizens.
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Jailed student activists standing trial for taking part in education reform protests have slammed the head of Burma’s permanent mission to the United Nations for describing them as mere criminals.
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A representative of Unicef in Burma urged the National League for Democracy (NLD) government to sign off on the international Mine Ban Treaty and halt landmine use in conflict zones on Monday, the fourth in-country commemoration of International Day of Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action.
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Ahead of a United Nations summit on global drug issues, Burma’s Drug Policy Advocacy Group (DPAG) has highlighted the need to develop humane drug policies at home.
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After quizzing the ambassadors of the European Union, India, Japan, and the United Kingdom on the transition last week, The Myanmar Times speaks to the ambassadors for China and Singapore to get their views on U Htin Kyaw’s government and the challenges it will face.
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Myanmar’s central bank has allowed diplomatic corps to open foreign currency accounts in local private banks, according to an announcement of the bank Wednesday.
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The UN refugee agency has urged the new Burmese leadership to resume dialogue with Thailand and the UNHCR to end the decades-long saga of refugees along the border and give priority to the ethnic Rohingya issue as part of their nation-building process.
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The U.S. State Department said on Monday it had determined that Myanmar is persecuting its Rohingya Muslims, but the government’s treatment of the religious minority group does not constitute genocide.
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Rising inequality threatens to derail, from the start, successful implementation of the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in the Asia-Pacific region. Stronger, more equitable social protection will be critical in overcoming these challenges.
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The Australian government has been accused of wanting to downgrade United Nations monitoring of human rights in Myanmar, the Sydney Morning Herald reported on March 20.
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Myanmar is a very different country from just a few short years ago, said the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Yanghee Lee, warning however of the urgent need to tackle deeply entrenched human rights issues.
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