Apr 12, 2019
2019 THINGYAN MESSAGE TO ALL STAFF IN MYANMAR
Dear friends and colleagues,
I’m writing to wish you Happy Thingyan and auspicious entrance to Myanmar Era 1381.
We have had a challenging year, but we managed to keep the focus on our objectives:
• Maintain the momentum for the country’s peace, economic and democratic transitions for the benefit of all people;
• Save lives by gaining greater humanitarian access;
• Support sustainable solutions for Kachin, Rakhine and Shan States; and,
• Engage in human rights advocacy.
In some ways, the past year was transformational. The Secretary-General appointed the Special Envoy on Myanmar; the Human Rights Council passed a resolution to establish an Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar; and, we have substantially expanded our presence in Naypyidaw where more than 100 staff reside now, including the WFP and UNDP senior managers.
We produced the new Humanitarian Response Plan calling for US$202 million to assist approximately 941,000 vulnerable, crisis-affected people. With the support of the Country Task Force for Reporting and Monitoring, the Tatmadaw released more than 100 children and young people. We signed a series of agreements with Japan on implementation of more than US$50 million in Kachin, Rakhine and Shan States. We finalized the Rakhine Strategic Cooperation Framework. UNHCR, UNDP and the Government signed an MoU on creating conditions conducive for the return of refugees who fled to Bangladesh. UNHCR and UNDP jointly carried out over 120 focus group discussions with over 1,400 community members in some 60 locations under the MoU.
Apr 9, 2019
Opening Remarks by Acting UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Knut Ostby Third Workshop on the National Strategy on Closure of IDP camps
Your Excellency Union Minister of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement,
Professor Walter Kälin,
Thank you for holding the important Third Workshop on durable solutions for IDPs and the National Strategy on Closure of IDP camps.
Allow me please to open with commending you for the draft National Strategy which is taking a shape of a guiding document for actions that will help design and implement durable solutions for the IDPs in Myanmar.
I would especially like to recognize the contribution of His Excellency Union Minister Win Myat Aye for his leadership in drafting the Strategy.
We welcome the engagement of various stakeholders, including the United Nations, international NGOs, Embassies, as well as national civil society.
Each of us can support the Government in developing and realizing durable solutions for the IDPs in our respective mandates and areas of expertise.
Turning now to the draft National Strategy:
We welcome the strategy’s objectives to restore normal lives for the IDPs, in safety, dignity, with rights and access to services, such as education, health, and livelihood.
Apr 4, 2019
Remarks by Mr. Knut Ostby at the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action
Honorable Deputy Minister of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement
Honorable Ambassador of the Norway, Ambassador New Zealand
Representatives of Embassies and donors
Representatives of UN agencies, NGOs and Civil Society Organizations
Survivors of landmine and other explosive devices that are here today
Representatives from the Media
Ladies and Gentlemen
Mingalar ba and Good morning!
• I am honoured to address this distinguished audience on the occasion of International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action, that was declared by the UN General Assembly on 4th April 2006. On this day every year, events are planned around the world to raise awareness about landmines and progress toward their eradication.
• This day is an opportunity for all of us here to remind ourselves that landmines and Explosive Remnants of War continue to pose threats. Their eradication requires financial and political commitment.
• Challenges of landmine and other explosive remnants of war remain in many countries, including in Myanmar. As recently as the 30th March, three people including two children lost their life and four others were seriously injured as a result of a mine explosion in Namtu, Northern Shan State.
Apr 1, 2019
Remarks by Mr. Knut Ostby at the Discharge Ceremony for children and young people released from the Tatmadaw
Mingalar ba and good morning!
• First let me say how delighted I am to be here today to see firsthand the release of 32 children and young people.
• In June 2012, the Myanmar Armed Forces committed to end the recruitment and use of children in their ranks by signing a Joint Action Plan with the United Nations. Since then, the collaboration has been remarkable.
• At least 924 children and young people have been released. Seven hundred and twenty-six (726) of them have been provided with reintegration support within the framework of the Joint Action Plan.
• Today’s release is another encouraging step by the Government towards ending and preventing the recruitment and use of children within the Tatmadaw.
Mar 19, 2019
Note to correspondents
The Acting Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Knut Ostby is deeply concerned about new reports of fighting between the Arakan Army and Myanmar security forces which continue to cause civilian casualties and displacement of communities in Rakhine State.
Mr. Ostby urges all sides of the conflict to ensure the protection of civilians, resolve differences through peaceful means, uphold their responsibilities under International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights Law, including the preservation of sites of cultural heritage.
Mr. Ostby calls for effective humanitarian access to populations in need of aid, particularly the children, women, elderly and other affected people. The United Nations is in contact with the Myanmar authorities and stands ready to continue with the humanitarian support to the affected civilian populations.
Mar 19, 2019
List of all 147 UN Statements on Rakhine crisis from 25 August 2017*
20 March: High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet presented her report on human rights situation of Rohingya: “Systematic discrimination and pervasive restrictions on freedom of movement continue to severely damage the human rights and fundamental freedoms of members of the Rohingya community.”
19 March: the Acting Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator issued a statement expressing a concern about new reports of fighting between the Arakan Army and Myanmar security forces. “Mr. Ostby urges all sides of the conflict to ensure the protection of civilians, resolve differences through peaceful means, uphold their responsibilities under International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights Law, including the preservation of sites of cultural heritage.”
15 March: Secretary-General’s spokesperson commented on situation in Rakhine State: “the situation there is deeply concerning, with continued and spreading fighting between the Myanmar security forces and the Arakan Army. We condemn attacks against security personnel and express our sympathy for the victims and their families.”
11 March: Special Rapporteur Yanghee Lee delivers a statement to the Human Rights Council: “the situation in Myanmar must be referred to the ICC by the Security Council.”
Mar 8, 2019
Statement by the United Nations Country Team in Myanmar 2019 International Women’s Day: “Think equal, build smart, innovate for change”
Investing in women is the most effective way to lift families, communities, businesses, and countries. Women’s participation makes peace agreements stronger, societies more resilient and economic growth more sustainable. Empowering women will benefit us all.
As the women’s rights movement is making significant advances around the world, we in Myanmar also “Think equal, build smart, innovate for change,” as is suggested in the theme of the 2019 International Women’s Day.
Today, we celebrate women in Myanmar as industry leaders, social entrepreneurs, activists, scientists, artists and innovators. We also acknowledge the remarkable strength of the women who have been displaced and the survivors of gender-based violence for their resilience as they continue to contribute to their family, community and the country.
On this occasion, we are also looking at how we can support the Government of the Union of Myanmar in creating conditions for women to increase their impact on the ongoing transitions from conflict to peace, from military rule to democratic governance, and from a closed to a liberalized economy.
Feb 26, 2019
RCHC ai remarks at Japan grants signing 26 Feb 2019
Representatives of the Union Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement and Union Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
It is an honor to participate in this signing and exchange of notes ceremony which builds on agreements signed a year ago, on 22 February 2018.
Allow me to thank Government of the Union of Myanmar and specifically Union Minister of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement His Excellency Dr. Win Myat Aye for leadership and partnership throughout this process. We look forward to continued strong leadership and partnership from the Government in the new phase of the programme.
In 2018, we signed agreements totaling US$20 million that aimed to reach half a million people in Rakhine.
This year, eight agencies – IOM, UN-Habitat, UNDP, UNFPA, UNHCR, UNICEF, UN Women, and WFP will receive will receive funding from agreements totaling US$37 million for humanitarian operations in Kachin, Rakhine and Shan, and development initiatives in Rakhine State.
I thank the people and the Government of Japan for their continued support to allow the UN to respond to meeting the needs of vulnerable communities in the three states.I would like to recognize the indispensable role of His Excellency Mr. Yohei Sasakawa, Special Envoy of the Government of Japan for National Reconciliation in Myanmar, who led the efforts to forge this partnership that merges the strengths of bilateral and multilateral cooperation.
Thank you also to His Excellency Mr. Ichiro Maruyama, Ambassador of Japan to Myanmar, for his tireless support to make this partnership happen. The Ambassador has always emphasized that the objective of this partnership is to benefit all communities in need.