Ignoring Junta’s Request, UN Delays Myanmar Ambassador Replacement

By The Irrawaddy 7 December 2021

The UN ambassador of Myanmar’s civilian government, U Kyaw Moe Tun, will remain in the position for the time being, after the UN General Assembly on Monday adopted a resolution delaying a decision on who will represent the country at the world body.

The resolution submitted by the UN Credentials Committee last week was “adopted without a vote,” according to the UN. A similar resolution was adopted with regard to Afghanistan.

The committee’s chairwoman, Ambassador Anna Karin Eneström of Sweden, said, “The committee deferred its decision on the credentials pertaining to the representatives of Myanmar and on the credentials pertaining to the representatives of Afghanistan to the seventy-sixth session of the General Assembly.”

Thus, the current ambassadors for the two countries are to remain in place “for the time being.”

U Aung Myo Min, the minister of human rights in the shadow civilian National Unity Government (NUG), said, “It is now official. We were worried about any potential situation [before the Assembly’s decision].”

He said his ministry “will cooperate further with Ambassador U Kyaw Moe Tun for human rights issues” now that it has been acknowledged that he will continue to represent Myanmar on behalf of the civilian government.

At a General Assembly gathering in late February, U Kyaw Moe Tun denounced the coup, defended the elected civilian government overthrown by the Feb. 1 takeover and asked for the international community’s help in restoring democracy in Myanmar.

He continues to represent the civilian NUG, which was formed in mid-April by elected parliamentarians along with representatives of ethnic groups and the anti-regime movement.

The Myanmar junta and Afghanistan’s de facto Taliban rulers seek to replace the UN ambassadors of the governments they deposed in February and August, respectively, and have made rival claims to the UN seats.

The General Assembly voted in June to condemn the coup in Myanmar and the junta’s crackdown on pro-democracy protesters.

As of Monday, the junta had killed at least 1,303 civilians and arrested 10,727 pro-democracy supporters including the country’s civilian leaders, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, an advocacy group documenting the junta’s crackdowns.

Nearly 8,000 people remain in detention, of whom 357—including ousted State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and President U Win Myint—have been sentenced under various charges.

The UN said it also continues to “push for a diplomatic solution to the crisis in Myanmar” in the wake of the military coup.

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