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HRC49 Oral Statement on Item 4: Enhanced interactive dialogue on the report of the Secretary-General on the UN’s involvement in Myanmar (HRC res. 46/21)

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49th regular session of the UN Human Rights Council

Item 4: Enhanced interactive dialogue on the report of the Secretary-General “A brief and independent inquiry into the involvement of the United Nations in Myanmar from 2010 to 2018” (HRC res. 46/21)

Delivered by Ahmed Adam

On behalf of Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)

18 March 2022


Mr. President,

We welcome the Council’s continued attention on the UN’s involvement in Myanmar.

Rosenthal’s brief inquiry into the UN’s involvement in Myanmar, despite its limitations, identified serious systemic and structural failures by the UN including the absence of a clear and unifying strategy, bureaucratic dysfunction and infighting, and lack of communication and coordination in handling the Rohingya crisis.

Many of these failures and shortcomings, both on the part of the institution and collective UN membership, persist and continue to be exacerbated amid the current crisis in Myanmar.

The Secretary-General’s report identifies ‘the reinvigorated Resident Coordinator system’ as one of the hallmarks of its reforms in response to the Rosenthal Report. However, the report fails to mention that, even after the Rosenthal Report, Myanmar has been repeatedly without a permanent Resident Coordinator for prolonged periods, including in the past six months.

Absence of a permanent Resident Coordinator has once again led to a lack of leadership and undermined a coherent system-wide response by the UN to the current crisis. We regret that the Resident Coordinator is not participating in this Enhanced Interactive Dialogue as requested by the Council resolution 46/21.

To end the repetitive cycles of failures of the UN in responding to crises and prevent recurrence of grave human rights violations under its watch in Myanmar and around the world, the UN must ensure accountability for its own failures.

In this context, we ask the Assistant Secretary-General to further elaborate on:

  • measures taken to resolve the lack of UN leadership in Myanmar
  • action taken to ensure institutional accountability for the UN’s failures in Myanmar as recommended by the FFM; and
  • steps taken to implement the Secretary-General’s Call to Action and to ensure an effective protection framework in Myanmar amid the current crisis.

Thank you