NUG hails UN decision on Myanmar representation  

Myanmar’s underground government has welcomed a decision by a United Nations credentials committee to keep the country’s current representative in place, calling the move a “first step” towards international recognition.

The nine-member Credentials Committee of the General Assembly, responsible for approving the nominations of each UN member state’s ambassador to the world body, on Wednesday deferred a decision on who will represent Afghanistan and Myanmar.

The deferral means that Kyaw Moe Tun, appointed by now-deposed civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s government last year, will remain as Myanmar’s permanent representative for now. The 52-year-old diplomat denounced the junta and chose to continue to represent the elected government shortly after the military takeover.

The National Unity Government (NUG), comprised of elected lawmakers, civil society groups, and other anti-regime forces, sees the UN committee’s move as a step forward in gaining legitimacy as the official government of Myanmar.

“We can say that the first step has succeeded for U Kyaw Moe Tun to continue representing Myanmar as a permanent ambassador,” Aung Myo Min, the NUG’s minister for human rights, said in an interview with Myanmar Now on Thursday.

“The General Assembly’s decision would be a master key for NUG and U Kyaw Moe Tun to open every door,” he added.

The next annual General Assembly gathering is scheduled for September of next year. Aung Myo Min said that the UN body’s decision on who can occupy the country’s seat will strongly influence the stance of many other international organisations.

He added that Kyaw Moe Tun will be able to represent the voice of Myanmar people and NUG’s policies at the world body as an ambassador of a legitimate government if his nomination is approved by the General Assembly.

“With that master key, we will also have a direction and a roadmap for the path we have to continue. [The deferral] is an opportunity for us to keep walking straight, steadily,” said Aung Myo Min.

The UN’s credentials committee held a closed-door meeting on the nominations by the Taliban and Myanmar junta to replace the representatives of the governments they had deposed.

The New York Times reported that Swedish ambassador Anna Karin Eneström, who chairs the committee, told reporters after the meeting that the panel “defers its decision on the credentials in these two situations.”

Citing diplomats, the report said the committee would make the deferral recommendation in a report to the General Assembly next week. 

Aung Myo Min said the General Assembly traditionally makes decisions on member countries’ credentials according to the recommendations of the committee. 

He added, however, that gaining the UN seat would be only one important means of establishing the NUG’s legitimacy. More important, he said, was the conduct of the revolution at home.

“Getting the UN seat will be just the white of the egg. The yolk will be our domestic force. We are doing everything we can to work on our domestic force,” he said, adding that he could not reveal everything that the NUG is doing inside the country due to security concerns.

In a statement released on Thursday, the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH) also welcomed the UN decision and called for further action on the international front.

“Political, economic and diplomatic sanctions on the junta rendered by global communities and countries are pivotal and effective actions to terminate brutalities of the military junta,” said the CRPH, which was formed by ousted lawmakers in the wake of the February 1 military coup.

The Myanmar junta’s spokesman responded to the deferral by saying that it “does not reflect” the reality on the ground.

“We will continue submitting [to the UN] as usual according to diplomatic procedure and the right to representation in accordance with international and local laws,” Zaw Min Tun told AFP in an interview. 

The junta charged Kyaw Moe Tun with high treason and issued an arrest warrant against him in Myanmar. In July, the regime tried to replace him with former military official Aung Thurein.

Additional reporting by Min Min

Related Articles

Back to top button