Amid military rule, UN envoy visits Myanmar for the first time |


The visit follows the Security Council’s latest call for an end to violence and unhindered humanitarian access to the Southeast Asian nation.

Ms Heyzer, a women’s rights activist from Singapore, will work to address the deteriorating situation there, according to the UN.

News agencies quoted security officials who wished to remain anonymous as reporting that Ms Heyzer landed in Naypyidaw on Tuesday afternoon.

nestled in chaos

Myanmar has been in chaos since the military overthrew the elected government led by Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi early last year with a bloody crackdown on protests that followed.

Although Myanmar’s military rulers agreed in April 2021 to an Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) five-point plan to restore peace and stability in the country, few efforts have been made to implement it.

The country has since slipped into what some have described as a civil war.

UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Secretary-General António Guterres (seated at the table) meets virtually with Noeleen Heyzer, his Special Envoy for Myanmar.

peace efforts

Efforts by Myanmar’s Southeast Asian neighbors to restore peace have also been hampered by the country’s recent execution of four political activists, including two from the pro-democracy movement.

The Security Council, including allies Russia and China, condemned the executions.

Earlier this month, media said Cambodian Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn, who is also special envoy to Myanmar for the 10 ASEAN members, had warned that further executions would force the regional group to reconsider. how he engages with the country.

Crimes against humanity

In its annual report released in early August, the United Nations Independent Investigative Mechanism for Burma found growing evidence that crimes against humanity were being committed in the country.

Since the military coup, more than 2,100 civilians have been killed and nearly 15,000 arrested, according to news reports.

Ms Heyzer’s visit comes a day after a military-run state court convicted the ousted leader on four additional corruption charges and added an additional six years in prison to her previous 11-year sentence. year.

The UN has not said whether Ms. Heyzer will meet with Myanmar’s military rulers or Ms. Suu Kyi – a long-standing UN request,

First visit

The UN envoy’s visit follows extensive consultations with actors from across the political spectrum, civil society and communities affected by the ongoing conflict.

From 1994 to 2007, Ms. Heyzer led the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), which focuses on promoting the economic advancement of women, and from 2007 to 2014, served as the first female Executive Secretary. of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia. and the Pacific (ESCAP).


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