News

  • Dec 9, 2018

    Opening remarks by UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator ai Knut Ostby at Human Rights Day event organized by the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission

    Ministers, Chairperson of the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission, Representative of the Myanmar National Committee for Women’s affairs, Representative of the Myanmar Press Council (members of the diplomatic community), ladies and gentlemen. First of all, I want to thank the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission, in particular Chairperson U Win Mra for inviting me to this important event. Before making some more personal remarks, I would like to take the opportunity to read the message from the UN Secretary-General for Human Rights Day: “For 70 years, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights has been a global beacon – shining a light for dignity, equality and well-being … and bringing hope to dark places. The rights proclaimed in the Declaration apply to everyone -- no matter our race, belief, location or other distinction of any kind.

  • Dec 9, 2018

    UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator remarks at UN Human Rights Day event in Yangon

    Excellencies, Chairperson of Myanmar National Human Rights Commission, U Win Mra, ladies and gentlemen, Thank you all for joining us today. Thank you to Goethe Institute and partners who have organized this event. The adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 70 years ago was a pivotal moment in modern history. The Declaration proclaimed, “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” It stated that human rights apply to everyone, everywhere. As the UN Secretary-General said, it brought hope to dark places. But, we can’t take human rights for granted. People are being denied rights in different parts of the world. We are therefore standing up today for human rights for everyone, everywhere, including in Myanmar.

  • Dec 4, 2018

    Opening remarks by the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator ai Knut Ostby Government-organized workshop on national strategy for the closure of IDP camps

    Your excellency, Union Minister of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement, U Win Myat Aye, Dignitaries, Distinguished Participants, Colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen. I am pleased to be here today and deliver opening remarks at this inter-ministerial meeting organized by the Government of Myanmar and the Committee for the Implementation of the Recommendations on Rakhine State. I would like to recognize the Government and the Committee for its commitment to prioritize the recommendations and commend them for their leadership in their implementation. The world recognizes it is a tremendous task. Yesterday, the Myanmar Times reported that His Excellency Union Minister Win Myat Aye “urged the public’s help in implementing the recommendations.” Allow me to assure you that we stand ready to support you. When we last met on 13 August, I said in my opening remarks that “we are prepared to redouble our efforts” in supporting the government to implement the recommendations.

  • Dec 4, 2018

    Opening Remarks by UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator ai Knut Ostby at inter-ministerial meeting of the Government of Myanmar and the Committee for Implementation of Recommendations on Rakhine State

    Your excellency, Union Minister of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement, U Win Myat Aye, Dignitaries, Distinguished Participants, Colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen. I am pleased to be here today and deliver opening remarks at this inter-ministerial meeting organized by the Government of Myanmar and the Committee for the Implementation of the Recommendations on Rakhine State. I would like to recognize the Government and the Committee for its commitment to prioritize the recommendations and commend them for their leadership in their implementation. The world recognizes it is a tremendous task. Yesterday, the Myanmar Times reported that His Excellency Union Minister Win Myat Aye “urged the public’s help in implementing the recommendations.” Allow me to assure you that we stand ready to support you. When we last met on 13 August, I said in my opening remarks that “we are prepared to redouble our efforts” in supporting the government to implement the recommendations. Our commitment to work with you is as strong as ever. This is documented by the numerous statements for their implementation, including by the UN Secretary-General.

  • Dec 3, 2018

    A message to all UN staff from UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator a.i Knut Ostby on 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence

    Dear colleagues, We marked the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls and launched the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence on Sunday 25 November. In line with the theme of this year’s campaign “Orange the World: #HearMeToo” our first event saw Yangon City Hall lit up in orange in partnership with the Deputy Mayor of Yangon Region, Daw Hlaing Maw Oo, on 25 November. On Monday 26 November, we participated in a government-organised, high-level meeting marking the start of the 16 Days of Activism campaign in Nay Pyi Daw. Events aiming to honour the voices of survivors and grassroots activists are taking place all over the world as gender inequality and violence against women and girls are among the most pressing challenges of our time. Globally, one in three women will experience physical or sexual abuse in her lifetime. We must end the culture of silencing and put survivors at the centre of our responses. The issues of gender inequality, discrimination and gender-based violence are significant in Myanmar. Only a half of working-age women are active in the country’s labour force and women are critically underrepresented in government. Further, women and girls from ethnic and religious minorities, those in areas affected by conflict, and those who are stateless remain especially vulnerable. These women and girls often suffer multiple forms of gender-based violence and the vast majority of cases go unreported and unacknowledged. Impunity for those responsible, be it in the home, workplace or in conflict situation, underpins the heightened challenge of addressing these issues in Myanmar.

  • Dec 2, 2018

    Opening Remarks by UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator ai Knut Ostby, Workshop on the 6 grave violations of children’s rights for the Committee on the Prevention of Underage Recruitment

    Deputy Minister of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement U Soe Aung, Deputy Attorney General U Win Myint, Major General Khun Than Zaw Htoo, Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Labor, Immigration and Population U Myo Aung, Vice Adjutant General, Office of the Commander in Chief of Army Representatives of Government Departments and members of the Committee on the Prevention of Underage Recruitment Mr Alec Wargo, from the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary General on Children and Armed Conflict, Country Task Force on Monitoring and Reporting colleagues, Workshop participants, Good morning and Mingalar ba. It gives me a great pleasure to express, on behalf of the Country Taskforce Co-Chairs, my most sincere thanks to the Government’s Committee on the Prevention of Underage Recruitment for hosting this important training. It demonstrates the commitment made at the Panglong conference in July to ensure protection of children’s rights and eliminate all the six grave violations, as well as the commitment to protect children in the Nation-wide Ceasefire Agreement.

  • Nov 25, 2018

    Remarks by UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator ai in Myanmar Knut Ostby High-level meeting on International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls and its 16 Days of Activism

    Your Excellency U Hla Thein, Chairman of Union Election, Your Excellency U Soe Aung, Deputy Minister of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement, Your Excellency U Win Mra, Chairman of the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission, Chairpersons from Parliament Committees, Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen, Mingalabar and a very good morning to you all, I am pleased to have the opportunity to address you on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls and the start of the 2018 Campaign for the 16 days of Activism. Gender inequality and violence against women and girls are among the most pressing challenges of our time. Globally, one in three women will experience physical or sexual abuse in her lifetime. Gender inequality deprives a family, a community or a country of healthy and holistic development. It prevents women and girls from fulfilling their potential and enjoying their rights. Women and girls from ethnic and religious minorities, those in areas of conflict and or who are stateless, remain especially vulnerable. They often suffer multiple forms of gender-based violence. The vast majority of cases go unreported and unacknowledged.

  • Nov 18, 2018

    Statement on shooting in in Ah Nauk Ye IDP camp

    UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator ai Knut Ostby is deeply concerned about the reports of shooting in Ah Nauk Ye camp in central Rakhine which holds IDPs who fled violence in 2012. He calls for calm, non-violence and restraint. Mr. Ostby appreciates the work of the organizations which provided first aid on site to the injured. The UN will continue to monitor the situation and is committed to supporting sustainable solutions to the situation in Rakhine State. Yangon, 18 November 2018