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  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • Dear colleagues, please see below a message from the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres encouraging everyone of us to participate at a survey on sexual harassment in the workplace: SafeSpaceSurvey2018.deloitte.com. Addressing sexual harassment in the workplace is one of my key management priorities. Harassment and bullying are just one aspect of the longstanding power imbalances that have deep roots and affect every area of our lives, including here at the United Nations. From the outset of my tenure, I have taken steps to boost support for victims, to enhance the protection of whistleblowers and to improve reporting and investigation of allegations of harassment and other abuses. Among other measures, we have supported the establishment of a specialized investigations team within the Office of Internal Oversight Services; fast-tracked and streamlined procedures for making complaints; launched a database to prevent rehiring those disciplined for sexual harassment; and created the Speak-Up Helpline, which provides 24/7 guidance: +1 917-367-8910 or speakup@un.org.

  • Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, Colleagues, Member of the Media, Friends, It is great to see you here today. Thank you for joining us. We are all here because we want to help Myanmar end poverty in all its forms. We want to help build a prosperous, democratic and peaceful Myanmar. We have to be ambitious. We have to work together. The time is now. Myanmar is a young country. More than half of the population are under the age of 30. This is an opportunity. With 6.4 percent growth, Myanmar is still one of the fastest growing economies in the region. The young people entering the labor market will thrive with access to training, tools and role models. I therefore welcome the agreement that UNDP and Ooredoo are signing today. Under this two-year partnership, they will engage with the youth, and provide technology as a platform for social innovation and new business ideas.

  • Your Excellency State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Dignitaries, Distinguished Guests, Colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen, First allow me to express my appreciation to Her Excellency Daw Aung San Suu Kyi for her gracious remarks on the annual celebration of the UN Day. The United Nations and Myanmar have a shared past and a common future. Our partnership dates back 70 years as Myanmar joined the UN a few months after she gained her independence in 1948. Since then, Myanmar has played an active role in the work of the UN, and the UN also has remained actively engaged in supporting the development of Myanmar. Notably, Myanmar gave the UN its son, U Thant, to lead the organization as Secretary-General from 1961 to 1971. He helped to turn the UN into what it is today. For example, it was under U Thant’s leadership that UNDP, as it is today, was founded in the mid-1960s.

  • The Special Envoy of the Secretary-General (SESG), Christine Schraner Burgener, undertook her third visit to Myanmar from 10 to 20 October where she held consultations with State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, other government and military leaders, ethnic armed organizations, local and religious leaders, NGOs, UN agencies and the diplomatic community. “Accountability is one of two important pillars for national reconciliation, the other is inclusive dialogue,” she said repeatedly. “Credible fact-finding is the first step towards accountability.” In Rakhine and Kachin states, the SESG also engaged with local civilian and military authorities, and directly with the affected populations, in particular women.

  • Dear colleagues, I’m writing after the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly, the 39th Session of the UN Human Rights Council and recent UN Security Council meetings on Myanmar, to share important reports, to recap our priorities, and reflect upon some key areas of work in relation to the UN’s peace, development and human rights agenda. MYANMAR ON INTERNATIONAL AGENDA Myanmar featured prominently in the above mentioned global meetings. The international community raised serious concerns over the atrocities in Rakhine State, and the ongoing conflicts in Kachin and Shan States. Within these summits, world leaders held a series of meetings in which the Government, the UN, civil society and Member States discussed their positions, particularly on sustainable solutions for Rakhine State, repatriation, accountability and humanitarian access.

  • UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, and UNDP, the UN development agency, carried out in September initial assessments in 23 villages and three village tracts in Myanmar’s Rakhine State. It had been more than a year since UNHCR had been able to engage with affected communities in the northern areas of Rakhine State, following the flight of more than 720,000 Rohingya refugees to neighboring Bangladesh in 2017. In the course of these initial assessments in Rakhine UNHCR and UNDP noted the efforts of authorities to facilitate these first steps, though they were limited in scope and in the locations visited. While they do not allow for broader conclusions, the field visits have given UNHCR and UNDP an initial understanding of the challenges facing those living there. Our teams assessed immediate community needs and priorities for our short-term actions. The rapid assessments also help to identify community initiatives that could support Government’s efforts to improve the lives of all affected populations, build trust and promote social cohesion among all communities.

  • Collective Statement of the Members of the Secretary-General’s Circle of Leadership on the Prevention of and Response to Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in United Nations Operations 1. As Members of the Circle of Leadership, we join the United Nations Secretary-General in issuing this Collective Statement to reaffirm our continued personal commitment as global leaders to support efforts to combat sexual exploitation and abuse across the United Nations system; 2. We recognize the unique responsibility of the United Nations to set the standard for preventing, responding to, and eradicating sexual exploitation and abuse within the United Nations system, address its impact effectively and humanely, and safeguard and empower victims; 3. We recognize th

  • A free press is essential for peace, justice and human rights for all. We are disappointed by today’s court decision. The United Nations has consistently called for the release of the Reuters journalists and urged the authorities to respect their right to pursue freedom of expression and information. Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo should be allowed to return to their families and continue their work as journalists. END

  • YANGON, 31 August 2018 – Today, the Government of Myanmar released 75 children and young people who were recruited and used by the Armed Forces (also known as ‘Tatmadaw’). This is the first discharge to take place in 2018, and it underlines the importance of protecting children in the context of armed conflict and within the peace process. Since June 2012, when the Myanmar government signed a Joint Action Plan with the United Nations to prevent recruitment and use of children in the Tatmadaw, 924 children and young people have been released. The co-chairs of the UN Country Task Force on Monitoring and Reporting (CTFMR) on Grave Violations against Children: Knut Ostby, the United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator and June Kunugi, UNICEF Representative, welcome this latest discharge as ‘one more positive development in the Government’s effort to end and prevent the recruitment and use of children within the Tatmadaw’.

  • WFP- From January to June 2018, WFP reached approximately 190,000 beneficiaries in central Rakhine and 142,000 beneficiaries in northern Rakhine, through emergency relief, nutrition programmes, community asset creation and school feeding. UNICEF UNICEF supported the provision of improved access to learning for more than 32,000 children across Rakhine through the construction and rehabilitation of 44 schools over the last 12 months. Because education can’t wait, UNICEF supported 14,000 children in IDP camps and crisis-affected villages in Rakhine to have continued access to essential education services provided in temporary learning classrooms and non-formal education centers.

  • Dear Colleagues, Preventing and addressing sexual harassment and abuse of authority is a priority for the UN. All UN agencies have the duty to take all appropriate measures towards ensuring a harmonious work environment, and to protect their staff from exposure to any form of intimidation, pressure and prohibited conduct. Managers and supervisors have the obligation to ensure that complaints of prohibited conduct are promptly addressed in a fair and impartial manner. I encourage you to kindly ensure that the following actions are taken in order to strengthen an internal system enabling complaints to be raised and dealt with fairly and confidentially: • All UN staff to complete the mandatory online training programme on prevention of harassment, sexual harassment and abuse of authority in the workplace (as promulgated under ST/SGB/2005/20) in order to raise awareness of roles and responsibilities for creating and maintaining a workplace free of harassment, sexual harassment and abuse of authority.

  • Table of UN links for reporting sexual harassment and abuse of authority in the workplace UN 24/7 helpline for sexual harassment* +1 (917) 367-8910 or email speakup@un.org Office of the Internal Oversight Services (OIOS)* https://unvoiosctxwi.unvienna.org/OIOSIDWDR/?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1 FAO investigations-hotline@fao.org Email: Ethics-Office@fao.org Phone 1: +39 06 57054151 Phone 2: +39 06 57053956 ILO Email: ETHICS@ilo.org IOM https://www.iom.int/ethics-and-conduct-office Email: Ethics&ConductOffice@iom.int UNAIDS https://unvoiosctxwi.unvienna.org/OIOSIDWDR/?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1 UNDP, UNV http://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/accountability/audit/office-of-audit-and-investigation.html#report UNESCO https://secure.unesco.org/survey/index.php?sid=48128&lang=en Email: ethics@unesco.org