General Assembly expected to determine Myanmar representation at UN Tuesday

 General Assembly expected to determine Myanmar representation at UN Tuesday

Myanmar’s ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun addresses the Human Rights Council at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland on 11 March 2019 | Reuters

United Nations member states should recognise the credentials of the serving Permanent Representative of Myanmar to the UN, ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun, during the 76th session of the UN General Assembly, advocacy group Fortify Rights said on Monday.

UN member states convene in New York for the annual General Assembly on Tuesday.

“The Myanmar junta is an unlawful, criminal, and terrorizing enterprise that should have no place within the halls of the UN,” said Matthew Smith, CEO at Fortify Rights.

Fortify Rights and 357 Myanmar and international civil society organizations published an open letter to all UN member states’ permanent representatives urging them to accept ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun’s credentials, which empower him to attend and speak within the UN as Myanmar’s representative.

Myanmar’s military junta is expected to seek UN credentials for an opposing representative, sparking a dispute that could be settled, for the time being, on procedural grounds by the General Assembly’s Credentials Committee.

The Credentials Committee is appointed by the General Assembly on the first day of the session.

The committee comprises representatives of nine UN member states proposed by the president of the General Assembly.

It has become a well-established practice that the US, Russia, and China all take seats on the committee, and the remaining six members are selected on the basis of equitable geographic coverage.

The committee is mandated to examine credentials of proposed representatives of member states and report to the General Assembly on its findings.

Prior to the 1 February military coup d’état in Myanmar, ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun served as Myanmar’s Permanent Representative to the UN and, at the time of writing, retains his credentials.

In a speech to the General Assembly on 26 February, Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun denounced the coup d’état and called on member states to use “the strongest possible action . . . to immediately end the military coup, to stop oppressing the innocent people, to return the state power to the people, and to restore the democracy.”

“Member states should urgently support the NUG and the people of Myanmar in their efforts to hold the junta accountable for its crimes,” said Matthew Smith.

“The international community is failing the people of Myanmar and should do everything now to correct course.”

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