The Enhanced Interactive Dialogue on the report of the High Commissioner on Myanmar was held on 14 September 2020, the first day of the 45th session of Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland.
As a country concerned, Permanent Representative of Myanmar U Kyaw Moe Tun delivered a statement. In his statement, while touching upon the current unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, he apprised the Council of the Government’s whole-of-nation approach based on the principle of “leaving no one behind” in responding to the pandemic. He also thanked friends and partners including the UN for their assistance in the Government’s efforts to fight the COVID-19.
He said that the pandemic has exacerbated the multiple challenges Myanmar faces in its efforts for building a Democratic Federal Union. He stressed that the present civilian government, since the day one in its office, has pursued utmost efforts for taking all possible steps towards a democratic state and many positive changes have been achieved to its political, socio economic and human rights landscape throughout the country.
Pursuing the sustainable peace, he informed the Council that the recent 4th Session of the Union Peace Conference, held in August, has demonstrated a significant achievement by signing of Part III of the Union Accord, a crucial step for establishing a Democratic Federal Union.
Regarding the complex and delicate Rakhine issue, he reaffirmed that finding a sustainable solution and commencement of repatriation are priorities of the Government. In this connection, he recalled that ARSA’s terrorist attacks in October 2016 and August 2017 were deliberate attempts to derail Myanmar’s efforts to find a sustainable solution, and these triggered the current humanitarian crisis. He further highlighted that the challenges have been further compounded by intensification of fightings between the Military and the AA. Furthermore, he said that humanitarian assistance has been provided to the affected people with the assistance of WFP and ICRC as well as local NGOs.
On the accountability issue, he reiterated that Myanmar is willing and able to address the issue of accountability and the Government has been taking necessary action based on the recommendations contained in the report of the Independent Commission of Enquiry submitted to the President in January 2020.
Moreover, he apprised the Council of the Government’s cooperation with UNHCR, UNDP and ASEAN to facilitate the implementation of the bilateral agreements between Myanmar and Bangladesh on the repatriation, resettlement, and development of returnees. In addition, parts of the Government’s efforts for creating conducive environment, promotion of social cohesion, creating harmonious society and prevention of hate speech related actions have been taken, he said.
He stressed that no one cares the prosperity of Myanmar more than its people. With the desire of the people, he said, the present Government will continue its efforts towards a democratic federal union. He, therefore, underscored the importance of continued support from within and abroad, and urged the international community to render genuine cooperation, constructive engagement and helping hands to Myanmar instead of exerting undue political pressure on Myanmar.
Five main points
While taking the floor again at the closing, he thanks the delegations who have spoken in support of Myanmar and in a constructive and objective manner and highlighted the five main points: (1) the importance of addressing the issue in a holistic and comprehensive manner, (2) the importance of understanding the country’s history, culture, background and complexity of the issue and having appropriate time and space to succeed the goal, (3) necessity of the accuracy of information in making a right decision, (4) the danger of externalizing Rakhine issue which is fanning the flames of an extreme polarization, and (5) reaffirmation of Myanmar’s commitment to continue achieving the goals towards a peaceful and prosperous Democratic Federal Union.—MNA