Myanmar’s UN Ambassador to Stay On: UN Sources

By The Irrawaddy 14 September 2021

The United States and China have brokered an agreement that will effectively block Myanmar’s military rulers from addressing the United Nations’ General Assembly next week, according to diplomats, dealing a blow to the junta’s quest for international legitimacy after it took power in a coup earlier this year, Foreign Policy reported.

This will be a big blow to the junta and coup leader Senior General Min Aung Hlaing. At the same time, U Kyaw Moe Tun will not represent the country’s National Unity Government, made up of ousted Burmese leaders and anti-coup protesters, and must refrain from denouncing the military’s power grab. The move will also delay any effort by Myanmar’s rulers to press for UN membership to recognize it as the legitimate government in Myanmar, at least until November.

“What we are hearing, and this seems to be increasingly solid, is that the credential committee will defer. They will say they can’t draw a firm conclusion now, and that will encourage [U Kyaw Moe Tun] to stay on,” said Richard Gowan, the UN representative at the International Crisis Group.

“Apparently, there has been a quiet gentleman’s agreement that the current ambassador will keep a low profile during [this] high-level week and won’t use it as an opportunity to attack the regime,” Gowan added.

The arrangement has been informally endorsed by representatives of the European Union, members of ASEAN and Russia, according to Foreign Policy.

Several members of the National League for Democracy (NLD), which led Myanmar’s government before it was ousted by the military on Feb. 1, have said that China was quietly lobbying at the UN to keep U Kyaw Moe Tun in the UN seat but not allowing him to speak. Chinese diplomats also indicated that they are not sure to back the regime at the United Nations on this issue.

China has in the past backed the regime at the United Nations Security Council.

China’s special envoy Sun Guoxiang made a discreet visit to Myanmar in late August. He met with Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing and the regime’s Minister for Foreign Affairs U Wunna Maung Lwin and Minister for the Union Government Office Lieutenant General Yar Pyae.

During a weeklong visit, the Chinese envoy encouraged the military junta to talk to the detained ousted leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and also appealed to it not to disband the NLD.

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