• The United Nations in Myanmar wishes to clarify inaccurate references to international guidelines on urban and territorial planning for prospective returnees in an article published by 7 Days news on 13 March 2018 and an article published by RFA on 23 February 2018. The international guidelines on Housing and Property Restitution and Urban and Territorial Planning provide guidance for urban development in the context of resettlement. They apply to refugees and displaced persons who were arbitrarily or unlawfully deprived of their former homes, lands, properties or places of habitual residence, regardless of the circumstances by which displacement occurred. Human rights protection is at the core of the guidelines. The principles do not call for land clearance or leveling of villages, as is inaccurately suggested in the concerned articles. The principles promote inclusive planning process with the participation of returning communities.

  • Excellencies, Colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen: I am pleased to be here today on the occasion of the International Women’s Day to deliver the message from the Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. The importance of the Secretary-General's statement lies in the fact that across the world terrible injustices continue to happen to women -- and much more needs to be done for women's equality and empowerment. Since ratifying the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women in 1997, nearly 21 years ago, Myanmar has made many efforts to fulfill its treaty obligations. For example, the National Strategic Plan for the Advancement of Women, for example, offers an integrated approach to improving the situation of women and girls in Myanmar, to realize women's rights. The work on the law on Prevention of Violence Against Women is also an important step forward, and we are happy to continue our support towards finalizing the law. A strengthened civil society and more enabling policy environment has paved the way for an increase in the participation of girls and women in education and in the economy. All these efforts are noteworthy. At the same time as true friends of Myanmar we cannot ignore the challenges that Myanmar faces.

  • Statement: UNHCR appeals for protection of Rohingya currently trapped on Myanmar-Bangladesh border

    UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is concerned about the safety of a group of vulnerable Rohingya women, men, and children from Myanmar, who have been living in a so-called “no man’s land” near the border between Myanmar and Bangladesh since the end of August 2017. UNHCR is closely following the developments after they were reportedly ordered to vacate the area by the Myanmar authorities. UNHCR underscores that everyone has the right to seek asylum, just as they also have the right to return home when they deem the time and circumstances right. People who have fled violence in their country must be granted safety and protection and any decision to return must be voluntary and based upon a free and informed choice.

  • UN Secretary General remarks to Human Rights Council

    Excellencies, As this is the first time I have the opportunity to address a UN body after the Security Council resolution of last Saturday on Syria, allow me please to say a few words in that regard. As you know I welcome the Security Council’s adoption of a resolution demanding a cessation of hostilities throughout Syria for at least 30 days. But Security Council resolutions are only meaningful if they are effectively implemented. And that is why I expect the resolution to be immediately implemented and sustained, particularly to ensure the immediate, safe, unimpeded and sustained delivery of humanitarian aid and services, the evacuation of the critically sick and the wounded and the alleviation of the suffering of the Syrian people. As you know, the United Nations is ready to do its part. As I had the opportunity to say in the Security Council itself a few days ago, in particular eastern Ghouta cannot wait. It is high time to stop this hell on earth.

  • Speech by H.E. Dorothee Janetze-Wenzel, Ambassador, Federal Republic of Germany On behalf of the Cooperation Partner Group (CPG)

    Excellencies, colleagues, ladies and gentlemen Mingalabar Shin. Both, the Resident Coordinator and I are speaking on behalf of the Cooperation Partners Group or CPG, an inclusive and democratic group that enables bilateral donors, UN agencies, and international financial institutions which provide development assistance to speak with one voice. We very much welcome today’s event as an opportunity for dialogue with the Myanmar Government and hope we can make it as interactive as possible. We would like to congratulate Myanmar on the substantial achievements – the Myanmar Sustainable Development Plan, the Development Assistance Policy, and the Sector Coordination Groups – and on having made these within the framework of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and the SDGs. We are looking forward to working with the Myanmar Government when now moving from words to action.

  • Knut Ostby, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator a.i, Remarks at the Development Effectiveness Roundtable in Nay Pyi Taw

    Mingalabar. I’m speaking on behalf of the Cooperation Partners Group or CPG. We welcome today’s Roundtable as an opportunity for an interactive dialogue about sustainable development of Myanmar. Congratulations to the Government for convening this meeting and for the initiative on the Myanmar Sustainable Development Plan and its alignment with the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and the SDGs. We look forward to supporting its implementation. We welcome this consultation process and, in particular, the presence of representatives from States and Regions which demonstrates a broad consultative process and support for the Plan and policies.

  • New partnership to reach half a million people in Rakhine with humanitarian and development aid

    Nay Pyi Taw, 22 February 2018 Representatives of the Governments of Japan and Myanmar and seven United Nations agencies signed today agreements totaling US$ 20 million to implement a number of humanitarian and development projects benefitting people of all communities in Rakhine State. “This partnership demonstrates the commitment of the international community to help find and implement solutions to the situation in Rakhine State,” said Knut Ostby, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator ad interim in Myanmar. The seven agencies, IOM, UNDP, UNFPA, UNHCR, UNICEF, UN Women and WFP will provide a range of food and development assistance throughout Rakhine State. The participating agencies will integrate their activities – in line with the humanitarian-development-peace nexus – to achieve better results. “Our immediate concern is provision of humanitarian aid to people in need – irrespective of their religion, ethnicity, gender or citizenship status,” added Knut Ostby. “At the same time, more than 40 percent of people in Rakhine live in poverty and we have to reach them with development assistance in order to set the State on the path to peace and inclusive growth.” The Myanmar’s Minister of Social Welfare, Rehabilitation and Resettlement H.E. Mr. Win Myat Aye, Ambassador of Japan H.E. Mr. Tateshi Higuchi and representatives of the United Nations participated in the signing ceremony in Nay Pyi Taw.

  • NDMC Earthquake Simulation Exercise

    Excellency Minister of Social Welfare Relief and Resettlement, Professor Dr U Win Myat Aye, Deputy Minister U Soe Aung Director General of the Disaster Management Department, Dr U Ko Ko Naing, I congratulate the department on its new structure and organizing this event. Officials from State, Regional and national governments, the Military and colleagues from Civil Society, Myanmar Red Cross Society, humanitarian organizations the private sector, UN colleagues Distinguished Invited Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, A very good morning to you all. Mingalarbar. It is my greatest pleasure to take part in welcoming you all to this 2-day Earthquake Simulation Exercise, organized under the auspices of the National Disaster Management Committee (NDMC) and supported by the Disaster Management Department, the Mandalay government and the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT). As stated in the invitation letter, the main objective of this event is to test the readiness of the NDMC working committees and the regional Government towards an effective response to the potential impacts of national disasters, an example has chosen in this case as a major earthquake in Mandalay, in coordination with other partners.

  • Statement on United Nations participation in Myanmar government meetings on health services on 21 January in Sittwe

    Several UN agencies were invited to join internal meetings between the Union and State governments in Sittwe on Sunday, 21 January. The discussions covered the extension of Sittwe hospital; the provision of health services on the outskirts of Thet Kel Pyin IDP camp which is designated for closure as part of the implementation of the Rakhine Advisory Commission recommendations; and the provision of health care for returnees, especially pregnant women, mothers and children. Throughout these discussions, the UN stressed the need for refugees to be consulted and properly informed about what health services they may receive. The UN also emphasized that the return must be voluntary, safe, dignified and to the areas of origin. The UN in Myanmar remains prepared to work with the government towards finding a long-term solution to this crisis in the interest of all communities in Rakhine State.

  • Address by the Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Knut Ostby, at the event to commemorate the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust. Yangon University Arts Hall

    Excellency U Naing Ngan Lin, Minister for Social Affairs, Yangon Region Rector of Yangon University, Prof. Dr. Pho Kaung Ambassador of Israel, Excellency Mr. Daniel Zonshine, Ambassador of Germany, Excellency Mrs. Dorothee Janerzke- Wenzel Honored guests, Professors and students from Yangon University, Mingalarbar. Holocaust - Auk May Bweh - akhann annaar –goh - tet yauk thaw -gonthayay shii - lujee minn myar aalon, Mingalarbar. (Mingalarbar to all the distinguished guests attending the Holocaust memorial ceremony.) Allow me to first thank the Ministry of Education and Yangon University for hosting this event and the Embassy of Israel, the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Goethe Institute for your kind support in organizing the event today. At the Sixtieth Session of the United Nations General Assembly, Member States adopted a resolution to commemorate memory of the victims of the Holocaust. United Nations therefore designated 27 January as an annual International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust.

  • 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