MOFA celebrates 70th Anniversary

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State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi looks at the portraits of former foreign ministers, including her father, at a display in Nay Pyi Taw.

A ceremony to mark the 70th Anniversary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a gala dinner were held on the lawn of the Ministry in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday evening.
Prior to the ceremony, State Counsellor and Union Minister for Foreign Affairs Daw Aung San Suu Kyi cordially greeted those present, followed by dinner with Union Minister U Kyaw Tint Swe, the Deputy Ministers, ambassadors and other attendees were served with dinner. After dinner, the State Counsellor and party toured the commemorative items the ministry displayed on the ground floor.
Speaking on the occasion, State Counsellor and Union Minister for Foreign Affairs Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said: “A nation’s history is similar to a person’s life; they both have ups and downs. We have to try our best to maintain our status while we are up, and not to be discouraged when we are down. We admit that the reputation of our Ministry for Foreign Affairs was not as good as it should be in the past decades.”
“There is no reason to be discouraged as there are many other opportunities to improve and for the young generation it means there is more time to improve.
Improvement must not be just for oneself, but for the benefit of the country as well. Staff members working in MOFA are different from other Ministries as your manners, behaviours, and way of speaking defines the standards of one’s country to others.”
“Especially when foreign service personnel begin working in other countries our country’s standards will be judged by their lifestyle and the way they interact with other diplomats and officials of the foreign government. You have to represent not only yourself but your country as well.”
“A public service personnel has to serve their elected government whether they like them or not, as in a democratic system everyone has the freedom to elect whomsoever they choose. However, after the election results they have to faithfully serve the elected government, that is why I do not see public service personnel following every order as something to be blamed.”
“However, a faithful civil servant also speaks up when they have to and takes action when they need to. The higher ups too should not mislead and betray the trust of their staff members. If a department carries out its tasks in a just and correct manner then there is no need for us to deceive each other. We must also keep the door open to allow the younger generation to express their ideas and opinions freely.” In the 70 years of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs service there have been many ups and downs but not one has there been defamation. The State Counsellor concluded her speech with a statement by her father who was the First Minister for Foreign Affairs, “Have a clear conscience.”
Minister of State for Foreign Affairs U Kyaw Tin presented the Bogyoke Aung San Stamp to the State Counsellor as a memorial of the 70th anniversary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Afterwards, he gave awards to prize winners in the debating contest and presented gifts to a veteran government employee on behalf of all retirees who retired in 2016. The staff from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs entertained the audience with songs and dance. A debate in commemoration of the 70th Anniversary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was held in the afternoon at the Ministry, which was attended by the State Counsellor to give encouragement to the participants.
The Department of Foreign Affairs was formed on 17 March 1947 under the government’s notification 77 D (MM) 47 and General Aung San became the first Foreign Affairs Minister of Myanmar. After independence, the Department of Foreign Affairs was named the “Foreign Office” and was later renamed as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 25 May 1967.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs established diplomatic relations with 114 countries around the world. The ministry is currently operating diplomatic missions through 35 embassies, three branches and six consulates-general by establishing seven departments. During the 70th anniversary of its establishment, General Aung San was first Foreign Minister and State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi became the 23rd foreign minister of Myanmar.

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