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July 20, 2019

Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary stresses importance of impartiality and objectivity of Special Rapporteur in discharging her duties at the Interactive Dialogue with Special Rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar during the 38th Session of the Human Rights Council (Geneva, 27 June 2018)

An Interactive Dialogue with Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar was made on 27 June 2018 during the 38th session of the Human Rights Council which was being held at the United Nations Office in Geneva from 18 June to 6 July 2018.
During the dialogue, Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Myanmar presented her oral update on the situation of human rights in Myanmar to the Human Rights Council.
In response to the Special Rapporteur’s remarks, U Myint Thu, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Myanmar, made a rebuttal Statement as a concerned country. In his statement, the Permanent Secretary said that just two years ago, the present government came to the office with the overwhelming support of the people to push forward its long struggle for peace and stability, democracy and development. Myanmar Government would never tolerate any violation of human rights. Myanmar appreciates cooperation from all friends who understand the issues objectively, and render their support.
He also pointed out that the situation in Rakhine State is a complex challenge of enormous dimensions involving issues including, but not limited to, sovereignty, territorial integrity, terrorism, rule of law, human rights and illegal migration. Unless the security challenges are promptly addressed, the risk of renewed inter-communal violence will remain. The security situation in northern Rakhine deteriorated sharply following the attacks on police outposts in Maungtaw Township by the terrorist group called ARSA. He expressed the deep concern of Myanmar over the suffering of all the people who have been caught up in the conflict. He underlined that those who had to flee their homes are many- not just Muslims and Rakhines, but also small minority groups, such as the Daing-net, Mro, Thet, Mramagyi and Hindus. He regretted the fact that their plight had been totally and conveniently overlooked by the international community and that some had gone even further to glorify or advocate the terrorist group. He pointed out that the Special Rapporteur conveniently failed to mention the heinous terrorist attacks and the brutal massacre of 99 Hindus committed by ARSA in her statement and the fact showed clearly bias and imbalance of the Special Rapporteur’s assessment. At the same time, he stressed that the Government of Myanmar would not condone any human rights violations, and would take action against perpetrators in accordance with the law where allegations were supported by sufficient evidence. He also mentioned that the Government has recently made the announcement of its decision to establish an Independent Commission of Enquiry with international and national personalities as part of its national initiative to address reconciliation, peace, stability and development in Rakhine.
Then, he added that with the arrival of the monsoon season, there is an urgent need to provide humanitarian assistance to all and to expedite the repatriation process agreed by Myanmar and Bangladesh in November 2017, and that Myanmar is doing its utmost to repatriate the displaced persons expeditiously. He expressed that with the recent signing of the MoU between the Government of Myanmar, UNDP and UNHCR, things will now move expeditiously and the UN agencies will take part in various stages of return and resettlement as well as sustainable socio- economic development in Rakhine. He also reiterated Myanmar’s position regarding the Special Rapporteur that although Myanmar had a good track record of cooperation with the Special Rapporteur over the past two decades and remains committed to continue to work together with the mandate of the Special Rapporteur, the people of Myanmar considered that it would no longer be productive to continue to extend cooperation with the current Special Rapporteur because of her lack of objectivity and non- compliance with the code of conduct. He recalled that Myanmar had requested the Council for the replacement of her, expressing his regret that Myanmar’s request was fallen to deaf ears. He said that as the cooperation with the United Nations is a cornerstone of Myanmar’s Foreign Policy, Myanmar would continue to extend cooperation with the relevant UN mechanisms. He further highlighted that Myanmar facilitated the first visit of the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General from 12 to 21 June 2018, allowing her to visit all places of her request including a tour of Rakhine State, Myanmar also agreed to open Special Envoy’s office in Nay Pyi Taw and invited her to take part in the forthcoming Union Peace Conference.
He then concluded by stressing that in its efforts to achieve national reconciliation and peace, democracy and development, Myanmar was happy to engage constructively with the United Nations as well as the international community.

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