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  • 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

  • Speech by Knut Ostby, UNRC/HC Monday 13 August 2018 Your excellency, Minister of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement, U Win Myat Aye, Dignitaries, Distinguished Participants, Colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen Thank you for joining us today at this important workshop on the implementation of the Rakhine Advisory Commission’s recommendations. Our dialogue and cooperation will be crucial for making further progress towards the vision of what the Rakhine Advisory Commission’s final report title terms as a “Peaceful, Fair and Prosperous Future for the People of Rakhine”. Let me begin by expressing my appreciation to the Government of the Union of Myanmar for leading the implementation of the Commission’s Recommendations. I know that this is also inspired by the Rakhine Socio-Economic Development Plan, which was also completed in draft form in 2017. The State Counsellor’s Office issued a statement on 24 August 2017, announcing that the Government “will give the report our full consideration with a view to carrying out the recommendations to the fullest extent, and within the shortest timeframe possible, in line with the situation on the ground.”

  • Two months since the signing of the tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between UNHCR, UNDP, and the Government of Myanmar, UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, and UNDP, the UN’s development agency, are both urging Myanmar authorities to make tangible progress to improve conditions in Rakhine State. The Myanmar government’s willingness to take the lead in the implementation of this agreement is critical to creating conditions conducive for the voluntary, safe, dignified, and sustainable return of Rohingya refugees. The government has taken some encouraging steps since the MoU was signed on 6 June, including the formation of a tripartite Technical Working Group to support the implementation of the MoU; enabling an important visit by senior UNHCR and UNDP officials to the northern part of Rakhine State in early July; and facilitating an initial joint field visit to Rakhine State by the Technical Working Group mid-July. However, substantial progress is urgently needed in three key areas covered by the MoU: granting effective access in Rakhine State; ensuring freedom of movement for all communities; and addressing the root causes of the crisis.

  • The UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Myanmar Knut Ostby is following with great concern the flooding and extensive devastation caused by heavy rains in Bago, Kayin, Mon, Rakhine, Sagaing and other States. His thoughts are with all those families whose lives have been impacted and is alarmed by the destruction of property, infrastructure and agricultural land.

  • United Nations Special Envoy of the Secretary-General on Myanmar Christine Schraner Burgener conducted her first official visit to Myanmar from 12 to 21 June. In Nay Pyi Taw, Yangon and Rakhine state, she met among others with State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Commander-in-Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, Speaker of Pyithu Hluttaw U T Khun Myat, Speaker of Amyotha Hluttaw U Mahn Win Khine Than, Minister in the State Counsellor’s Office U Kyaw Tint Swe, Chair of Pyidaungsu Hluttaw's Legal Affairs and Special Cases Assessment Commission Thura Shwe Mann, Chairman of the Election Commission U Hla Thein, the Rakhine State Government including Chief Minister U Nyi Pu, conflict-affected communities and families in Rakhine state, the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), people currently displaced along the international border between Myanmar and Bangladesh, representatives of Myanmar’s civil society, members of women associations, as well as with the United Nations country team, the diplomatic community and international NGOs. In all meetings, she stressed the need for inclusive solutions that integrated the views and important voices of women. The Special Envoy expresses her sincere appreciation to the Government of Myanmar and other interlocutors for their warm welcome and excellent organization of her visit. She also thanks the United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator and the United Nations country team for their support.

  • What would you do if you were forced to leave your home? Today, more than 68 million people around the world are refugees or internally displaced as a result of conflict or persecution. That is equivalent to the population of the world’s 20th largest country. Last year, someone was displaced every two seconds. Mostly, in poorer countries. On World Refugee Day, we must all think about what more we can we do to help. The answer begins with unity and solidarity. I am deeply concerned to see more and more situations where refugees are not receiving the protection they need and to which they are entitled. We need to re-establish the integrity of the international refugee protection regime. In today’s world, no community or country providing safe refuge to people fleeing war or persecution should be alone and unsupported. We stand together, or we fail. This year, a Global Compact on Refugees will be presented to the UN General Assembly. It offers a way forward and recognizes the contributions that refugees make to the societies hosting them.

  • The International Day of Peace, observed every year on 21 September, embodies our shared aspiration to end conflict in all its forms and to safeguard the human rights of all people. It is a day on which the United Nations calls for a 24-hour global ceasefire, with the hope that one day in our lifetime we will witness an end to violence. Yet there is more to achieving peace than laying down weapons. True peace requires standing up for the human rights of all the world’s people. That is why this year’s theme for the International Day of Peace is: “The Right to Peace – The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70”. As the observance approaches, let us re-double our efforts to address the root causes of conflict and advance our work for the Sustainable Development Goals, including by promoting inclusive societies, providing access to justice and building accountable institutions. Let us stand up for human rights for all in the name of peace for all.

  • The Secretary-General welcomes the Memorandum of Understanding reached by the Government of Myanmar, UNHCR, and UNDP on the UN system’s support to creating conditions conducive to voluntary, safe, dignified, and sustainable Rohingya refugee returns from Bangladesh, and their reintegration in Rakhine State. As these conditions are not yet in place, he welcomes the agreement by the Government of Myanmar to take this first step to address the root causes of the conflict in Rakhine. The Secretary-General encourages Myanmar to take decisive steps to implement the agreement. He also reiterates his call for an end to violence, accountability for perpetrators, redress for victims, humanitarian access to all areas in Rakhine State, and the implementation of the recommendations of the Rakhine Advisory Commission.

  • Today UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and UNDP, the UN Development Programme, signed a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar in Nay Pyi Taw. This MoU is a first and necessary step to establish a framework for cooperation between the UN and the Government aimed at creating conducive conditions for the voluntary, safe, dignified and sustainable repatriation of refugees from Bangladesh and for helping to create improved and resilient livelihoods for all communities living in Rakhine State.