• UN statement on situation in Mrauk U

    The United Nations in Myanmar is following with concern the reports of violent clashes between the police and protesters in Mrauk U in Rakhine State. We deplore the loss of life and injuries that have been reported. We urge respect for the rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression, and call for the security forces and demonstrators to act with restraint and to avoid further violence. We urge authorities to investigate any disproportionate use of force or other illegal actions that may have occurred in relation to this incident.

  • UN Secretary General: Remarks at informal meeting of the General Assembly

    Let me start by thanking all member states, all of you for your support across our agenda. I took office last year calling for us to make 2017 a year for peace. One year later, we must recognize that peace remains elusive. In fundamental ways, the world has gone in reverse. Conflicts have deepened and new dangers have emerged. Global anxieties about nuclear weapons are the highest since the Cold War. Climate change is moving faster than we are. Inequalities are growing. We see horrific violations of human rights. Nationalism, racism and xenophobia are on the rise.

  • United Nations Secretary General: Message on International Migrants Day

    On International Migrants Day, we recognize the contributions and celebrate the vitality of the world’s 258 million migrants. Evidence overwhelmingly shows that migrants generate economic, social and cultural benefits for societies everywhere. Yet hostility towards migrants is unfortunately growing around the world. Solidarity with migrants has never been more urgent. Migration has always been with us. From time immemorial, people have moved in search of new opportunities and better lives. Climate change, demographics, instability, growing inequalities and aspirations for a better life – as well as unmet needs in labour markets – mean it is here to stay.

  • Census Closure Event: Speech of the UN Resident Coordinator  (14 December 2017)

    I am delighted to be here representing the United Nations on this ceremony to mark the end stage of the 2014 Myanmar Population and Household Census. I congratulate the Government and the people of Myanmar for having completed this enormous task. It was not an easy undertaking. No census is. It was a massive physical, technical, logistical, statistical operation involving thousands of people in its making, with numerous specialists with experience of censuses in countries in different situations from across the world. On top of it, it was politically sensitive and took place at a time when trust was at a low ebb. I therefore recognize the donors who supported this through financing as well as technical assistance over almost five years. It could not have been done without their involvement and partnership.

  • United Nations Secretary General: Message for Human Rights Day 2017

    This year’s commemoration of Human Rights Day marks the beginning of a year-long celebration of seven decades since the adoption of one of the world’s most profound and far-reaching international agreements. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights establishes the equality and dignity of every human being and stipulates that every government has a core duty to enable all people to enjoy all their inalienable rights and freedoms. All of us have a right to speak freely and participate in decisions that affect our lives. We all have a right to live free from all forms of discrimination. We have a right to education, health care, economic opportunities and a decent standard of living. We have rights to privacy and justice. These rights are relevant to all of us, every day. They are the foundation of peaceful societies and sustainable development.


    Throughout history and still today, genocide has inflicted profound and painful losses on all humanity. In 1948, with the unanimous adoption by the General Assembly of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, Member States recognized a common interest and duty to safeguard groups from threats to their very existence. Coming so soon after the Holocaust and the Second World War, the Convention embodied a collective determination to protect people from brutality and to prevent any future such horror. Genocide does not happen by accident; it is deliberate, with warning signs and precursors. Often it is the culmination of years of exclusion, denial of human rights and other wrongs. Since genocide can take place in times of war and in times of peace, we must be ever-vigilant.

  • Speech delivered by Mr. Knut Ostby, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator a.i., on the occasion of the International Day for Persons with Disabilities

    Excellency, Dr. Win Myat Aye, Minister of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement; Excellencies – Union Ministers; Deputy Ministers; Representatives from the Government of the Union of Myanmar; Members of Parliament; Representatives from Civil Society, especially those that are representing people with disabilities; Distinguished Representatives from the Diplomatic Corps; Civil Society; Colleagues, ladies and gentlemen – Min-ga-lar-ba. And a very good morning. It gives me great pleasure to speak today, as we observe yet again the day to celebrate the abilities of People with Disabilities (or PWD). This day – the international day for people with disabilities has been celebrated since 1993 – so for the past 24 years. This year, we mark this special occasion under the theme of “Transformation towards sustainable and resilient society for all”. The theme calls for renewing our commitment to the core principle of Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (or SDGs) of leaving no one behind. Thematic discussions on and around disability are referenced in various parts of the SDGs. Most notably in sections related to education, growth and employment inequality, and accessibilities of human settlements, amongst others.

  • Security Council Presidential Statement Calls on Myanmar to End Excessive Military Force, Intercommunal Violence in Rakhine State

    Permanent Representative Says Text Places Undue Political Pressure on Government Calling on the Myanmar Government to end the excessive military force and intercommunal violence that had devastated the Rohingya community in Rakhine State, the Security Council this afternoon urged the implementation of agreed upon mechanisms to assist return of those who have fled and to ensure access for humanitarian aid. Through a statement read out by Sebastiano Cardi (Italy), its President for November, the Council condemned attacks against the Myanmar security forces by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army on 25 August, while strongly condemning violence and abuses that had taken place since then that had displaced more than 607,000 people, the vast majority Rohingya, citing reports of systematic killing, sexual violence and destruction of homes.

  • Statement on the appointment of Knut Ostby of Norway as ad interim  UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Myanmar

    The United Nations has appointed Knut Ostby of Norway as ad interim United Nations Resident Coordinator in Myanmar where he will serve also on an ad interim basis as the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator and Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme. Mr. Ostby will serve in these functions from 1 November until further notice. Mr. Ostby succeeds Renata Lok-Dessallien who will take on another assignment at headquarters after completing her tenure in Myanmar. The Secretary-General is grateful for Ms. Lok-Dessallien’s important contribution and service to United Nation’s work in Myanmar. Mr. Ostby has extensive experience in development, human rights and humanitarian affairs from 17 countries and has served as United Nations Resident Coordinator for more than 11 years including in Timor Leste since 2013. Prior to that, he was United Nations Resident Coordinator in Fiji and nine other Pacific countries, and before that in Iran. During his career with the United Nations, Mr. Ostby has held leadership positions in Afghanistan, Malaysia, Maldives, Kazakhstan, Pakistan and at headquarters in Copenhagen and New York. Mr. Ostby holds a Master of Science degree from the Norwegian Institute of Technology in Trondheim, and has conducted studies in development theory with the University of Uppsala in Sweden. He is married and has three children.

  • Message of UN Secretary General on UN Day 2017

    Our world faces many grave challenges. Widening conflicts and inequality. Extreme weather and deadly intolerance. Security threats – including nuclear weapons. We have the tools and wealth to overcome these challenges. All we need is the will. The world’s problems transcend borders. We have to transcend our differences to transform our future. When we achieve human rights and human dignity for all people – they will build a peaceful, sustainable and just world. On United Nations Day, let us, ‘We the Peoples’, make this vision a reality. Thank you. Shokran. Xie Xie. Merci. Spasibo. Gracias. Obrigado. Yet

  • Note to Correspondents: Visit of the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs to Myanmar

    United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman visited Myanmar from October 13 to October 17 at the invitation of the Government. In Yangon and Nay Pyi Taw, he met with State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and Tatmadaw Commander-in-Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, among other officials, as well as with representatives of Myanmar’s civil society. He attended the ceremony commemorating the signing of Myanmar’s historic National Ceasefire Agreement and met with the signatory ethnic organizations. He also met with the resident diplomatic community and representatives of international NGOs.

  • Note to correspondents

    United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman will visit Myanmar from 13 to 17 October. Following the Secretary-General’s repeated calls for an end the military operations and violence in northern Rakhine state; unfettered access for humanitarian support; and the safe, voluntary, dignified and sustainable return of refugees to their areas of origin, Mr. Feltman will be undertaking consultations with a view to addressing these urgent issues in close cooperation with Myanmar. His discussions will also focus on building a constructive partnership between Myanmar and the United Nations to tackle the underlying issues impacting all communities in the affected areas. New York, 11 October 2017

  •  Statement of the Office of the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator  in Myanmar

    The UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Renata Lok-Dessallien announced today that she will be completing her assignment after nearly four years in Myanmar. The Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator will use her remaining time until the end of the month to further the UN system’s efforts to promote peace and security, human rights, as well as humanitarian and development assistance for all people in Myanmar. She will continue to urge for the end of violence in the northern townships of Rakhine State, to allow full access for humanitarian aid, and to ensure the safe, dignified and sustainable return of refugees and IDPs to their places of origin. The Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator expresses her gratitude to the Government and the people of Myanmar for the opportunity to serve in the country. She thanks her UN colleagues and partners for their exceptional commitment to promoting UN principles. She also appreciates the Secretary-General’s confidence in the UN team in Myanmar.

  • Statement following government-organized visit to northern Rakhine

    The UN appreciates the Government of Myanmar’s invitation to participate in the visit to northern Rakhine organized by national authorities for diplomatic community and the UN. This was a positive step and such visits, under appropriate conditions, could help in our efforts to explore potential areas where the UN could cooperate with the Myanmar authorities in alleviating the dire situation in northern Rakhine. Three UN representatives participated in the field visit -- the UN Resident Coordinator Ms. Renata Lok-Dessallien; the WFP representative and Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator, Mr. Domenico Scalpelli, and senior UNHCR official Ms. Cécile Fradot. The scale of human suffering is unimaginable and the UN extends its deepest condolences to all those affected. The UN advocates for the end to the cycle of violence and for establishing law and order and the rule of law; to allow unfettered access for humanitarian support; and to ensure the safe, voluntary, dignified and sustainable return of the refugees to their areas of origin. The UN used the field visit also to send a signal of hope to the people in the affected areas, as well as to connect with its staff in northern Rakhine. The UN delegation reiterated the need for a greater access for humanitarian and human rights actors to conduct comprehensive assessments of the situation on the ground in order to address the concerns and needs of all communities in affected areas. The UN called also for access for the media.

  • Note to Correspondents on Myanmar

    The United Nations strongly disagrees with allegations against the UN Resident Coordinator in Myanmar, Renata Lok-Dessallien. The Secretary-General has full confidence in the Resident Coordinator and her Team. The UN has consistently and strongly focused on protection of human rights and inclusive development on behalf of all the people of Myanmar, irrespective of ethnicity, religion or citizenship status. The Resident Coordinator has been a tireless advocate for human rights, conflict prevention, and humanitarian and development assistance in Rakhine State. She has drawn attention to rights abuses and called for credible investigations; advocated against incitement to violence; and supported efforts to promote inter-communal harmony. The UN in Myanmar, led by the Resident Coordinator, works with a wide array of government and non-government partners to help enhance Myanmar’s capacities to tackle root causes of conflict, to strengthen democratic institutions, to expand access to justice and to reduce poverty. Human rights stand at the center of everything the UN does, and this includes the rollout of the Human Right Up Front by her team.

  • UN Secretary General remarks at open debate of the Security Council on Myanmar

    I welcome this opportunity to brief you on the crisis in Myanmar. On September 2nd, I wrote to this Council urging concerted efforts to prevent further escalation of the crisis in northern Rakhine state. I am encouraged that the Council has discussed the situation four times in less than a month. The reality on the ground demands action -- swift action -- to protect people, alleviate suffering, prevent further instability, address the root causes of the situation and forge, at long last, a durable solution. The following briefing is based on our reporting from the ground, and is our best sense of what has happened, what is still happening, and what needs to be done. The current crisis has steadily deteriorated since the August 25 attacks by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army on the Myanmar security forces. I repeat my condemnation of those attacks today. Since then, the situation has spiraled into the world’s fastest developing refugee emergency and a humanitarian and human rights nightmare.

  • Secretary General remarks to ASEAN-UN Ministerial Meeting

    Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Chairman, let me begin by congratulating the Government of the Republic of the Philippines for chairing ASEAN in its 50th anniversary year. I commend ASEAN’s progress over the past half century towards peaceful co-existence and regional integration. Multilateralism and regional integration are absolutely vital in our world today representing an opportunity to promote prosperity as well as advance human rights and the rule of law. Under the ASEAN-UN Comprehensive Partnership, I believe we can intensify our work in a number of areas, including integrating our efforts in peace and security, sustainable development, human rights and humanitarian action with close attention to prevention. With respect to prevention, I repeat my call for all parties to resolve their disputes, including maritime disputes, in a peaceful manner, in conformity with international law, and to avoid unnecessary escalation or provocation.

  • Secretary-General Address to the General Assembly

    I am here in a spirit of gratitude and humility for the trust you have placed in me to serve the world’s peoples. “We the peoples”, and the United Nations, face grave challenges. Our world is in trouble. People are hurting and angry. They see insecurity rising, inequality growing, conflict spreading and climate changing. The global economy is increasingly integrated, but our sense of global community may be disintegrating. Societies are fragmented. Political discourse is polarized. Trust within and among countries is being driven down by those who demonize and divide. We are a world in pieces. We need to be a world at peace. And I strongly believe that, together, we can build peace. We can restore trust and create a better world for all. I will focus today on seven threats and tests that stand in our way. For each, the dangers are all too clear. Yet for each, if we act as truly united nations, we can find answers.

  • Secretary-General's Video Message on International Day of Peace on 21 September

    Secretary-General's Video Message on International Day of Peace 13 Sep 2017 - Video message by H.E. Mr. António Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General, on the occasion of the International Day of Peace (21 September) On the International Day of Peace, we reflect on the cruel price of war. Ruined schools. Bombed hospitals. Broken families. Refugees searching for hope. Countries in crisis. The United Nations was born from a terrible World War. Our mission is to work for peace -- every day and everywhere. No group interest, national ambition or political difference should be allowed to put peace at risk. On this International Day, we call for a global ceasefire. We must never -- ever -- stop pressing for an end to armed conflict. Peace is the right and the desire of all people. It is the foundation for progress and well-being – happy children, thriving communities, and peaceful, prosperous countries. Let us pledge to work together – today and every day – for the peace we all yearn for and deserve.

  • Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on Myanmar

    The Secretary-General is deeply concerned at the reports of civilians being killed during security operations in Myanmar’s Rakhine State. This latest round of violence comes after the attacks on Myanmar security forces on 25 August. The Secretary-General, who condemned those attacks, reiterates the importance of addressing the root causes of the violence and the responsibility of the Government of Myanmar to provide security and assistance to those in need. The Secretary-General fully supports the recommendations of the report by Kofi Annan and urges the Government to effectively implement them. Recognizing that Bangladesh has hosted generously refugees from Myanmar for decades, the Secretary-General appeals for the authorities to continue to allow the Rohingya fleeing violence to seek safety in Bangladesh. Many of those fleeing are women and children, some of whom are wounded. He calls for humanitarian agencies to be granted unfettered and free access to affected communities in need of assistance and protection. The United Nations stands ready to provide all necessary support to both Myanmar and Bangladesh in that regard.