December 23, 2016

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Kofi Annan calls for cooperation among neighbouring countries to address Rakhine issue

Former Secretary-General of the United Nations Mr. Kofi Annan, speaks during the press conference in Yangon. Photo: MNA
Former Secretary-General of the United Nations Mr. Kofi Annan, speaks during the press conference in Yangon. Photo: MNA

Kofi Annan, the former United Nations Secretary-General, has pledged to address tensions between two communities in Rakhine State, saying that his government-appointed commission is not meant to probe into human rights in the state, but to give recommendations to ease the stress and anxiety in Rakhine State.
Mr Annan also expressed the nine-member commission’s commitment to “impartiality” to advise the government in order to solve complicated issues in accordance with international norms.
He made the remarks at a press conference held yesterday in Yangon following his first visit to the western state.
He also acknowledged the significance of the commission because among its members are international experts.
The former UN chief has also called for cooperation among neighbouring countries to address the issue in Rakhine State, urging the countries to consider how they can improve the cross-border issues by  border management.
He also pledged that the commission would observe cross-border issues and advise the countries to cooperate out of necessity.
During the first visit, he said they learned of issues related to development, job opportunities, education, health care, freedom of movement within Rakhine State and the history of Rakhine State.
Members of  the commission visited camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs) from both communities in the state.
At yesterday’s press conference, the chairman of the Advisory Committee for Rakhine State said his commission’s primary mission was to provide recommendations and suggestions about how best to meet the international criteria in tackling the sensitive issue of Rakhine State, while pledging to act righteously and impartially.
The recommendations will mainly focus on ways of solving the communal tension, providing humanitarian aid, reconciliation and development.
The commission listened to both communities, with the former UN chief pledging a submission of a comprehensive report of its findings to the government in a one-year timeframe, as agreed.
Kofi Annan also met members of Sangha, the Rakhine State Hluttaw’s Speaker, the Rakhine State Chief Minister and governmental officials.
The former UN Secretary General assured more visits to the region would occur in a bid to ensure closer interactions.—GNLM with Myanmar News Agency

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