UNSG’s special envoy holds closed-door meeting with international diplomats in Yangon

Writer: 
Myo Min Htet
Christine Schraner Burgener , UNSG’s special envoy to Myanmar, (middle) stands having a chat with international diplomats before the closed-door meeting at Chatrium Hotel.
 
Christine Schraner Burgener, special envoy of United Nations Secretary-General to Myanmar, held a closed-door meeting with international diplomats at Chatrium Hotel in Yangon on June 21.
 
The closed-door meeting took place at Chatrium Hotel in Yangon on June 21 and it was learnt that journalists had not been invited to the event. Accordingly, no journalists knew what topics were focussed on.
 
During her visit to Myanmar, Christine Schraner Burgener, special envoy of United Nations Secretary-General to Myanmar, met State Counsellor and Union Minister for Foreign Affairs Aung San Suu Kyi at the latter’s office in Nay Pyi Taw on June 13.
 
She, the following day, also met with Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services.
 
The UNSG’s special envoy and party headed to Rakhine State on June 17 and met with the officials of Rakhine State Government and Arakan National Party in Sittwe. The special envoy and party visited some camps of displaced persons in Myaypon and Sittwe and met with the displaced persons. On June 18, they also met with Bengalis living in the illegal place outside Taungphyo Letwe boundary line. 
 
State Counsellor and Union Minister for Foreign Affairs Daw Aung San Suu Kyi received Christine Schraner Burgener, Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General to Myanmar on June 20 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Nay Pyi Taw to hear the envoy’s feedback at the conclusion of her first visit.
 
During the meeting, the Special Envoy shared her experiences and general views after discussions with government ministries and civil society organisations as well as affected communities in Rakhine State. The Special Envoy expressed her recognition of the Myanmar Government’s efforts on Rakhine State, including preparations for repatriation and resettlement process, and the complex and sensitive situation of Rakhine State.
 
She also underlined the necessity to create conducive environment for returnees due to deep rooted division of the two communities, importance of freedom of movement and security, and urgency to implement the MoU signed with UNDP and UNHCR.
 
The State Counsellor explained that the confidence building between the communities requires patience and time, and the United Nations needs to support in those efforts. She stated that the mistrust between the two communities exists for decades. The incidents in 2012 deteriorated and the terrorist attacks by ARSA in 2016 and 2017 further worsen the situation. 
 
She pointed out that the people dare not to commute in Rakhine State due to the lack of security, not because of the lack of freedom of movement, and the Government, therefore, has been focusing on rule of law and development in Rakhine State. The State Counsellor also pointed out that the hate narratives from outside the country has driven the two communities further apart and stressed the need to focus on how to resolve the issue with forward looking approach.
 
Translated and Edited by Win Htut