UN Security Council to Make a Two-Day Visit to Myanmar

By Htet Naing Zaw 23 April 2018

A team of 15 permanent representatives from the 15 members of the United Nations Security Council will visit Myanmar for two days early next month after being invited to examine the situation in Rakhine State by the Myanmar government.

During the two-day visit, the team will meet with the chairperson of the Union Enterprise for Humanitarian Assistance, Resettlement and Development in Rakhine (UEHRD) State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and officials in Naypyitaw before visiting Rakhine State, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs U Myint Thu told the Irrawaddy.

“The team will spend one day in Naypyitaw and will stay in Rakhine State another day. It has been a long time since they requested to visit Myanmar. The government invited them as a form of cooperation with the United Nations. We have sent our invitation through the permanent representative of Myanmar at the UN,” said U Myint Thu.

The security council delegation will leave New York for Bangladesh on April 26 before concluding their visit to Myanmar on May 2.

Ambassadors from five neighboring countries of Myanmar, permanent member states of the UN Security Council and the ambassador of Singapore to Myanmar, as the current ASEAN chair, will also be invited to join the trip.

“We will explain what we have been doing to repatriate refugees. Dr. Win Myat Aye will clarify the details of UEHRD’s arrangements for repatriation,” he added.

Some news sources suggested to the Irrawaddy that the security council delegation was invited to Myanmar as China and Russia advised Myanmar to do so.

Although inviting members of the security council to Rakhine State could alleviate international criticism against the government for lack of transparency and media freedom, it is important to be prepared for consequences if Myanmar fails to meet their expectations, said Daw Pyone Kay Thi Naing, a member of the Lower House international relations committee.

“Inviting an important international body is an effective method. It might produce good outcomes as well as bad ones. Those who are responsible for tackling the problem should be prepared,” she said.

Chief Minister of Rakhine State U Nyi Pu said that his government has arranged transportation and security for the delegates.

The Myanmar government has faced international criticisms for the exodus of Muslim refugees and human right abuses by security forces.

Translated from Burmese by Myint Win Thein.