News

  • 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 146 UN Statements on Rakhine crisis from 25 August 2017*

    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.” 11 March: Secretary-General’s spokesperson commented on situation in Rakhine State: “Overall, 9,000 people have been displaced by fighting since late last year across Rakhine and Chin States. The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says it is working closely with partners to advocate with the Government for increased access to those affected by the fighting.”

  • Mar 7, 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

    Your Excellencies, Representatives of the Union Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement and Union Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Colleagues, Friends, 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.

  • Feb 25, 2019

    Press Release: Ongoing UN and Japan Cooperation on Rakhine extended in 2019 to also support communities in Kachin and Shan

    Nay Pyi Taw, 26 February 2019 - The Government of Japan and eight United Nations Agencies today signed a US$ 37 million value agreement to implement humanitarian and development projects in Shan, Kachin and Rakhine States. The funding will enable the delivery of life-saving assistance, protection, trust-building initiatives and early recovery support to women, men, girls and boys across the three states. This important partnership builds on a US$ 20 million agreement that was signed in 2018, that aimed to assist half a million people in Rakhine State. “I thank the Government and people of Japan for their continued support to respond to immediate humanitarian needs and address the long-term development prospects in Rakhine as well as Kachin and Shan States,” said UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator ad interim Knut Ostby. “The UN agencies signing today appreciate the continued confidence of our partners that enable us to add urgently needed support for humanitarian activities in Kachin and northern Shan States to the ongoing humanitarian and development initiatives in Rakhine State.” The agreements were signed by His Excellency Mr. Ichiro Maruyama, Ambassador of Japan to Myanmar and representatives of the participating UN Agencies. UN bodies that receive contribution under the agreements include the International Organization on Migration (IOM), UN-Habitat, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), UN Women, and the World Food Programme (WFP).

  • Jan 11, 2019

    Opening Remarks by UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator ai Knut Ostby, 2018 Myanmar Opium Survey Launch

    Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, Welcome to the launch of the 2018 Opium Survey and thank you to colleagues at UNODC for producing the important report. The challenge of drug abuse is among the most complex problems we face worldwide. Opium and heroin deteriorate health and well-being, destroy families and communities, and prevent sustainable development. They are interconnected with corruption, organized crime, violence, and illicit flows of money. Illicit drug trade is a critical, transnational problem that demands a national and global response. I commend the Government of Myanmar for taking effective actions. The 2018 Myanmar Opium Survey found that opium poppy cultivation area in Shan and Kachin – the main production centers – reduced by 12 percent from 2017. This trend needs to be recognized. At the same time, Myanmar remains the second largest opium producer in the world. The drug problem affects the prospect of Myanmar’s ambitious peace, political and economic transitions.

  • Jan 9, 2019

    Note to correspondents

    The Acting Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for Myanmar, Knut Ostby, is deeply concerned about the situation in northern and central Rakhine State, where an estimated 4,500 people have been displaced so far due to fighting between the Arakan Army and Myanmar’s security forces. Mr. Ostby was shocked by the reports of attacks on 4 January, regrets the loss of life and offers his deepest sympathies to the families of the police officers who were killed. The Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator urges all sides to ensure the protection of all civilians and uphold their responsibilities under International Humanitarian and Human Rights Law. Mr. Ostby further appeals to all sides to intensify efforts to find a peaceful solution to the situation and to ensure humanitarian access to all people affected by the violence. The United Nations has been in close contact with the Myanmar authorities in recent weeks and has offered to support ongoing efforts to respond to the humanitarian needs of those affected by the violence.

  • Jan 1, 2019

    UN Secretary-General’s 2019 New Year’s Message

    Dear fellow citizens of the world, I wish you a happy, peaceful and prosperous new year. Last New Year, I issued a red alert, and the dangers I mentioned still persist. These are anxious times for many, and our world is undergoing a stress test. Climate change is running faster than we are. Geo-political divisions are deepening, making conflicts more difficult to resolve. And record numbers of people are moving in search of safety and protection. Inequality is growing. And people are questioning a world in which a handful of people hold the same wealth as half of humanity. Intolerance is on the rise. Trust is on the decline. But there are also reasons for hope. The talks on Yemen have created a chance for peace. The agreement signed in Riyadh in September between Ethiopia and Eritrea has eased long-running tensions and brought improved prospects to an entire region. And the agreement between the parties to the conflict in South Sudan has revitalized chances for peace, bringing more progress in the past four months than in the previous four years.