04 November, 2007

UN Statement and SPDC Press

Statement of the United Nations Country Team in Myanmar
on the Occasion of UN Day

Yangon, 24 October 2007: Today marks United Nations Day. It is a day on which we should reflect on the importance of achieving development, prosperity, peace, security and dignity for all. All people of the world deserve to have these fundamental rights and freedoms fulfilled.

In Myanmar, the peaceful demonstrations that followed the sudden hike in fuel prices on 15 August highlighted that many of these aspirations are not yet a reality for the people here. The events clearly demonstrated the everyday struggle to meet basic needs, and the urgent necessity to address the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the country. These are the same messages that the United Nations Country Team in Myanmar has been endeavouring to bring to the Government’s attention for some time.

The United Nations Country Team reiterates the calls for action made at the most senior levels of the UN system including the Secretary General, the Special Envoy of the Secretary General Professor Ibrahim Gambari, the Special Rapporteur for Human Rights, Human Rights Council resolution of 2 October, and the Security Council. The 11 October Security Council Presidential statement, reflecting the unanimous views of its members, called on the “Government of Myanmar to take all necessary measures to address the political, economic, humanitarian, and human rights issues that are the concern of its people and emphasizes that the future of Myanmar lies in the hands of all of its people.”

The UN system in Myanmar also fully supports the 18 October Joint Statement made by thirteen international non-governmental organizations currently working in Myanmar, expressing concern about the humanitarian situation in Myanmar. We echo their appeals for greater public expenditures in social sectors, an improved operating environment for international humanitarian organizations, and a significant scaling up of international assistance to address the needs of the poor.

While acknowledging the efforts made by the Government of Myanmar to build schools, clinics, hospitals and roads, the UN system in Myanmar nevertheless sees every day that in this potentially prosperous country basic human needs are not being met. Today, Myanmar’s estimated per capita GDP is less than half of that of Cambodia or Bangladesh.

The average household is forced to spend almost three quarters of its budget on food. One in three children under five are suffering from malnutrition, and less than 50% of children are able to complete their primary education. It is estimated that close to seven hundred thousand people each year suffer from malaria and one hundred and thirty thousand from tuberculosis. Among those infected with HIV, an estimated sixty thousand people needing anti-retrovirals do not yet have access to this life-saving treatment.

The United Nations agencies working in Myanmar repeat their strong determination to help the country address poverty and suffering, and their underlying causes.

The concerns of the people have been clearly expressed through the recent peaceful demonstrations, and it is beholden on all to listen.

Permanent Mission of the Union of Myanmar to the United Nations Office and other International Organizations, Geneva.
Press Release No. 5/2007

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Union of Myanmar issued the Protest Note of 25 October 2007 in response to the statement issued by the UN Country Team in Myanmar on 24 October 2007 which is not in line with the UN Day theme for 2007. The situations related to various sectors, such as social, health and education, mentioned in the statement do not even reflect the true situations in Myanmar and were also not based on concrete evidences or statistics.

It was sad to find that despite Myanmar's consistent coordination, the focal Ministry concerned and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs were not consulted or even notified in advance of the unprecedented and inappropriate statement. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs was thus compelled to issue the following Protest Note:

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Union of Myanmar files a strong protest to the Office of the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Yangon against the unprecedented Statement of the UN Country Team in Myanmar issued on United Nations Day.

The Statement, which is found to be very negative, deliberately ignores the successful conclusion of the National Convention which as adopted basic principles for a new constitution as well as the economic development and the gains made in various sectors, such as education, health, transportation, etc. The Country Team should realize that there could be much better gains without the sanctions imposed upon Myanmar by some countries.

The Ministry is extremely disappointed by the Country Team's intention to issue the Statement and its failure to inform the Ministry of its contents prior to its release. The Ministry always responds to the Country Team's concerns and, therefore, the Country Team should have avoided such a Statement to express its concerns. It has jeopardized the good working relations existing between the Ministry and the Country Team.

The Statement harms Myanmar's image despite its all-out cooperation with UN, and gives wrong message to the international community."

Dated 31 October 2007.

1 comment:

ေကာင္းကင္ကို said...

ကဗ်ာေတြကိုသာ ဂဏန္းေပတံေတြနဲ ့rating သာေပးၾကစတမ္းဆိုရင္ ကၽြန္ေတာ္ဒီကဗ်ာေလးကို ၁၀မွာ ၁၀ အျပည့္ေပးမယ္ဗ်ာ။ ကဗ်ာေလးက ဒႆန ပါသလို ဖြဲ ့ႏြဲ ့မွဳ ရသလည္းအားေကာင္းတယ္။ ကၽြန္ေတာ့္စိတ္နဲ ့ ရာႏွဳန္းျပည့္ အစပ္အဟပ္တည့္တယ္ဗ်ိဳ ့။