Statement 520 Views

Open Letter in Support of Continuing Recognition of Ambassador U Kyaw Moe Tun as Myanmar’s Permanent Representative at the UN General Assembly

September 13th, 2021  •  Author: 358 Myanmar and International Civil Society Organizations  •  16 minute read
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To Permanent Representatives of Member States of the UN General Assembly

10 September 2021

Open Letter in Support of Continuing Recognition of Ambassador U Kyaw Moe Tun as Myanmar’s Permanent Representative at the UN General Assembly

Excellencies,

We, the undersigned, representing a broad movement of 358 Myanmar and international civil society organizations, urge you to ensure that the current Permanent Representative (PR) of Myanmar to the United Nations (UN), Ambassador U Kyaw Moe Tun, retains his position as Myanmar’s representative to the UN for the upcoming 76th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA), scheduled to begin on 14 September 2021.

Ambassador U Kyaw Moe Tun is the incumbent representative of Myanmar and he represented Myanmar throughout the 75th session of the UNGA after his credentials were accepted by the Credentials Committee in November 2020 and approved by the UNGA on 1 December (A/RES/75/19). He was appointed as Myanmar’s PR to the UN by the democratically elected government of Myanmar, which had held office since 2016. His credentials were renewed by the current duly elected government of Myanmar.

The new government, which won in a free, fair and credible general election in November 2020, was due to be formed in February 2021 and take office in March. The general election, which was observed by accredited international election monitoring bodies including the Asian Network for Free Elections and the Carter Center, certified that the election reflected the will of the people of Myanmar. However, on 1 February 2021, the Myanmar military launched a coup, physically prevented the scheduled session of the new parliament and forcibly detained elected members of Parliaments.

Since then, massive and broad anti-coup protests have continued throughout the country. The junta’s attempt to take control of Myanmar by force have been resisted by these ongoing protests, boycotts, strikes and coordinated civil disobedience movements by civil servants, private sector employees and civilians. Over 400,000 civil servants have been on strike against the junta since February. Ethnic armed organizations (EAOs), who have also opposed the coup, continue to exercise control over extensive territories in Myanmar’s borderlands.

In its effort to assert control, the military has killed, arbitrarily detained, raped, tortured, and looted homes and villages. Since February, the junta has killed 1,058 people, including at least 75 children and arrested 7,992. The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar has stated that these heinous tactics designed to instill terror in the population amount to crimes under international law, including crimes against humanity. Despite the junta’s brutal campaign of terror and repression, the people continue to resist, and the coup has totally failed.

On 26 February, Ambassador U Kyaw Moe Tun, during an informal meeting of the UNGA, unequivocally denounced the 1 February attempted military coup calling on states not to recognize or legitimize the military junta. Since then, he has continued to represent Myanmar on behalf of the National Unity Government (NUG) formed on 16 April 2021 by elected members of parliament, representatives of various ethnic groups and civil society leaders. The NUG has established its cabinet with respective ministries and continues to provide valuable services to the people of Myanmar, including in handling the COVID-19 crisis and overseeing the provision of humanitarian aid.

In June, the UNGA in its resolution on Myanmar (A/RES/75/287) condemned in the strongest terms “the excessive and lethal violence by the Myanmar armed forces since 1 February 2021.” It further called on the military to “respect the will of the people as freely expressed by the results of the general election of 8 November 2020,” and restore democracy under a fully inclusive civilian government that is representative of the will of the people of Myanmar. The resolution also expressed concern “at the persistent impunity for crimes committed by the Myanmar armed forces,” as the ongoing conflicts in ethnic areas, including in Kachin, Karen, Karenni, Rakhine, Shan and southern Chin states between EAOs and the Myanmar military have intensified since the coup, displacing over 230,000 people.

Such a political expression of condemnation of the coup by UN Member States is significant. Over the past three decades, only three other UNGA resolutions have condemned a military coup: Haiti (1991), Burundi (1993), and Honduras (2009). The resolution passed with overwhelming support with 119 members in favor to 1 against (Belarus) and 36 abstentions. Ambassador U Kyaw Moe Tun as the representative, Myanmar voted in favor of the resolution. Since the attempted coup, the Ambassador has provided a crucial voice at the UN for Myanmar’s democratically-elected government and people.

Notably, the presidential statement by the UN Security Council on 10 March 2021 also expressed deep concern regarding the situation in Myanmar and referred to those members of parliament arbitrarily detained by the junta as the “members of the Government.” These statements by the UNGA and the Security Council are a clear denunciation by the international community that the actions taken by the junta are contrary to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter.

Therefore, we urge the Credentials Committee to recommend for the UNGA to accept the credentials of Ambassador U Kyaw Moe Tun for the 76th session of the UNGA and ensure he retains his seat as the representative of Myanmar. Ambassador U Kyaw Moe Tun is the appointee of the representatives of Myanmar, duly elected by the people. A recommendation that his credentials be accepted would be to respect the will of the people of Myanmar, expressed overwhelmingly during recent elections, and be consistent with the June 2021 UNGA resolution on Myanmar and statements by the Security Council.[1]

We also urge the Credentials Committee to outrightly dismiss the proposed credentials of the representative of the illegitimate military junta. The military junta has no democratic legitimacy: it is unable to establish government functions, it does not have effective control over the territory of Myanmar, and it is a persistent perpetrator of international crimes. Any support for a junta-backed representative, would constitute a repudiation of the June 2021 UNGA resolution and principles of equality, human rights and fundamental freedoms set out in the UN Charter and will only further embolden the military that has terrorized the country since its attempted coup.

Lastly, we would also like to address the possibility of Myanmar’s seat at the UNGA being left vacant with a deferral of the decision on accrediting a representative of Myanmar, or any other deal that would silence Ambassador U Kyaw Moe Tun. Myanmar’s participation in the UNGA is part of “important rights and privileges of membership.” Leaving an empty seat at the UN, or silencing the Ambassador, would mean that this right would be suspended due to the decision of the credentials process and would be contrary to the Purposes and Principles as set out in Article 1 and 2 of the Charter. In addition, it would dismiss the overwhelming outcome of Myanmar’s democratic elections that were held in 2020, and would lend weight to the junta’s violent and unlawful attempt to seize power.

We therefore urge members of the UNGA to retain Ambassador U Kyaw Moe Tun’s accreditation as the Permanent Representative of Myanmar and call on your support in this matter.

We hope for a favorable response to this appeal. Please accept assurances of our highest consideration.

[1] As stated in UNGA resolution (A/RES/396(v))) when there is a disputed claim to the government entitled to represent a Member State in the UN, the question “should be considered in light of the Purposes and Principles of the Charter.” For the reasons we have stated in this open letter, it is imperative that UNGA retains the Ambassador’s accreditation as the PR of Myanmar as it will ensure that human rights and fundamental freedoms prevail in Myanmar​​, in clear affirmation of the UN’s own principles and Charter.

Sincerely,

Signed by:

  1. 8888 Generation (New Zealand)
  2. Action Committee for Democracy Development
  3. Activists group for Human Rights ‘BARAM’
  4. Advocates for Public Interest Law
  5. Airavati Organisation
  6. Akbayan Citizens’ Action Party, Philippines
  7. All Arakan Students and Youths Congress
  8. Alternative Solutions for Rural Communities (ASORCOM)
  9. ALTSEAN-Burma
  10. America Rohingya Justice Network
  11. American Baptist Churches USA
  12. Ananda Data
  13. Anti Dictatorship in Burma-DC Metropolitan Area
  14. Arakan Institute for Peace and Development
  15. Arakan Rohingya Union
  16. ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights
  17. ASEAN SOGIE Caucus
  18. Asia Center
  19. Asia Justice and Rights (AJAR)
  20. Asia Pacific Solidarity Coalition (APSOC)
  21. Asian Companions Against Brutality
  22. Asian Dignity Initiative
  23. Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)
  24. Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP)
  25. Association for Human Rights Defenders and Promoters (HRDP)
  26. Association of Women for Awareness & Motivation (AWAM)
  27. Athan – Freedom of Expression Activist Organization
  28. Auckland Kachin Community Inc.
  29. Auckland Zomi Community
  30. Aung Lan Phyu
  31. Australia Karen Organisation
  32. Backpack Health Workers Team
  33. Balaod Mindanaw
  34. Baptist World Alliance
  35. Better World
  36. Boat People SOS
  37. BOOM Womyn
  38. Boston Free Burma
  39. Bucheon St. Mary’s Hospital Branch of KHMU
  40. Buddhist Ecological Contents Institute
  41. Buddhist Solidarity for Reform
  42. Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP -Solidarity of Filipino Workers), Philippines
  43. Burma Action Ireland
  44. Burma Campaign UK
  45. Burma Human Rights Network
  46. Burma Medical Association
  47. Burma Monitor (Research and Monitoring)
  48. Burma Task Force
  49. Burmese American Millennials
  50. Burmese Democratic Forces
  51. Burmese Muslim Association
  52. Burmese Women’s Union
  53. Bytes for All
  54. Calgary Karen Community Association (CKCA)
  55. Campaign for a New Myanmar
  56. Carmelite Missionary
  57. Center for Freedom of Information
  58. Center for Military Human Rights Korea
  59. Center for Social Science and Sustainable Development, Chaing Mai University
  60. Center for Youth Advocacy and Networking (CYAN) – Philippines
  61. Central European Institute of Asian Studies
  62. CHANGJAK21
  63. Chin Community of Auckland
  64. Chin Community of USA-DC Area
  65. Chin Family Group
  66. Chin Leaders of Tomorrow (CLT)
  67. Christian Freedom International
  68. Christian Solidarity Worldwide
  69. Citizens Life & Environment Conference
  70. Civil Rights Defenders (CRD)
  71. Civil Society Forum for Peace (CSFoP)
  72. Climate Change Working Group
  73. CMCMC
  74. Coalition to Abolish Modern-day Slavery in Asia (CAMSA)
  75. Colors Rainbow
  76. Commission on JPIC, Korea Province, Society of Jesus
  77. Committee of Justice, Peace and Ecology of the Catholic Religious Men in Korea
  78. Community Organizations Network for Education & Training
  79. Community Resource Center (CRC)
  80. Community Resource Centre
  81. Critic CCC
  82. Cross Cultural Foundation (CrCF), Thailand
  83. CRPH/NUG Supporters (Austria)
  84. DEEKU, the Karenni Community
  85. Democracy for Ethnic Minorities Organization
  86. Democracy for Myanmar – Working Group (NZ)
  87. Democracy, Peace and Women’s Organization – DPW
  88. Edmonton Karen Community Youth Organization
  89. ETOs Watch Coalition
  90. European Karen Network (EKN)
  91. Federal Myanmar Benevolence Group (NZ)
  92. Finland Karen Culture Association
  93. Food Security Working Group
  94. Fortify Rights
  95. ForumCiv
  96. Free Burma Action Bay/ USA/ Global
  97. Free Burma Campaign (South Africa)
  98. Free Myanmar Campaign USA
  99. Freedom and Labor Action Group
  100. Freedom, Justice, Equality for Myanmar
  101. Friends Against Dictatorship (FAD)
  102. Future Light Center
  103. Future Thanlwin
  104. Ganghwa People’s Network (GHPN)
  105. Generation Wave
  106. German Solidarity with Myanmar Democracy
  107. Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  108. Global Justice Center
  109. Global Movement for Myanmar Democracy (GM4MD)
  110. Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict-Southeast Asia (GPPAC-SEA)
  111. Globe International Center
  112. Green Party Korea
  113. Green Peasant Institute
  114. Greendoor
  115. GZO Peace Institute – Philippines
  116. Hakha Thar Nubu
  117. Happy Class Meditation Community
  118. Human & Welfare Books
  119. Human Rights and Development Foundation (HRDF), Thailand
  120. Human Rights Foundation of Monland
  121. Hyungmyung Foundation
  122. HyunJang Academy
  123. In Defense of Human Rights and Dignity Movement (iDEFEND)
  124. INCHEON NGO NETWORK
  125. Incheon Regional Office of KHMU
  126. Incorporated Organization Shilcheon Bulgyo
  127. Info Birmanie
  128. Initiatives for International Dialogue
  129. Institute for Asian Democracy
  130. Institute of Korean Feminist Integral Studies for Faith
  131. Inter Pares
  132. International Campaign for the Rohingya
  133. International Christian Concern
  134. International Federation for Hurman Rights (FIDH)
  135. International Migrants Cultural Institute
  136. International Network of Engaged Buddhists (INEB)
  137. Inter-religious Climate and Ecology Network
  138. Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights
  139. JASS Southeast Asia
  140. Jeju Peace Human Rights Institute WHAT
  141. Jesuit Research Center for Advocacy and Solidarity
  142. Jesusalgi
  143. Joint Countermeasures Committee for Freedom of Expression and Press Repression
  144. JPIC Commission in The Association of Major Superiors of Women Religious in KOREA
  145. JPIC-Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill
  146. Justice for All
  147. Kachin Alliance
  148. Kachin National Organization USA
  149. Kachin Peace Network (KPN)
  150. Kachin Refugee Committee (KRC)
  151. Kachin State Women Network (KSWN)
  152. Kachin Women’s Association Thailand
  153. Kansas Karenni Community
  154. Karapatan Alliance Philippines
  155. Karen American Association of Wisconsin
  156. Karen Association of Huron, South Dakota
  157. Karen Community Association UK
  158. Karen Community in Norway (KCN)
  159. Karen Community of Canada (KCC)
  160. Karen Community of Czech Republic
  161. Karen Community of Finland
  162. Karen Community of Hamilton
  163. Karen Community of Iowa
  164. Karen Community of Ireland
  165. Karen Community of Israel
  166. Karen Community of Kansas City (KS & MO)
  167. Karen Community of Kitchener & Waterloo
  168. Karen Community of Leamington
  169. Karen Community of Lethbridge
  170. Karen Community of London
  171. Karen Community of Minnesota
  172. Karen Community of Ottawa
  173. Karen Community of Regina
  174. Karen Community of Saskatoon
  175. Karen Community of Thunderbay
  176. Karen Community of Toronto
  177. Karen Community of Windsor
  178. Karen Community of Winnipeg
  179. Karen Community Society of British Columbia (KCSBC)
  180. Karen Environmental and Social Action Network
  181. Karen Human Rights Group
  182. Karen Organization of America
  183. Karen Peace Support Network
  184. Karen Rivers Watch
  185. Karen Swedish Community (KSC)
  186. Karen Thai Group
  187. Karen Women’s Organization
  188. Karen Youth Networks
  189. Karen Youth of Norway
  190. Karen Youth of Toronto
  191. Karen Youth Organization
  192. Karenni American Association (KnA)
  193. Karenni Civil Society Network
  194. Karenni Community of Bowling Green (KY)
  195. Karenni Community of Des Moines (IA)
  196. Karenni Community of Georgia
  197. Karenni Community of Indianapolis
  198. Karenni Community of Massachusetts
  199. Karenni Community of Minnesota
  200. Karenni Community of Missouri
  201. Karenni Community of New York
  202. Karenni Community of North Carolina
  203. Karenni Community of Portland, OR
  204. Karenni Community of Taxes
  205. Karenni Community of Wisconsin
  206. Karenni Human Rights Group
  207. Karenni National Women’s Organization
  208. Karenni Society New Zealand
  209. Karenni Society of Minnesota (NE)
  210. Karenni-American Catholic Association
  211. Kaung Rwai
  212. Kayaw Women Association
  213. Keng Tung Youth
  214. KijamiiTable
  215. Korea Democracy Foundation
  216. Korea Institute for Religious Freedom
  217. Korea Karen Organization
  218. Korea Karen Youth Organization
  219. Korea Migrants Friendship Solidarity SHALOMHOUSE
  220. Korea Wetlands NGO Network (KWNN)
  221. Korean Civil Society in Solidarity with Rohingya
  222. Korean House for International Solidarity
  223. Korean Solidarity for Overseas Community Organization
  224. KPTU SEOUL
  225. Latsinu Women Agency
  226. Law and Society Trust, Sri Lanka
  227. Let’s Help Each Other
  228. Little Servants of the Holy Family (Uijeongbu Province)
  229. Los Angeles Rohingya Association
  230. Madang for Life and Peace
  231. Maldivian Democracy Network (MDN)
  232. Media Christianity
  233. Menrihei
  234. Metta Campaign Mandalay
  235. Migrants Trade Union
  236. MilkTea Alliance Philippines
  237. MINBYUN – Lawyers for a Democratic Society International Solidarity Committee
  238. Mindanao Peace Weavers (MPW), Philippines
  239. Mindanao Peacebuilding Institute Foundation, Inc.
  240. Muslim of Myanmar Multi-Ethnic Consultative Committee (MMMCC)
  241. Myanmar Accountability Project (MAP)
  242. Myanmar Action Group Denmark
  243. Myanmar Advocacy Coalition
  244. Myanmar Community Austria
  245. Myanmar Community in the Czech Republic
  246. Myanmar Cultural Research Society
  247. Myanmar Doctors For Human Rights Network
  248. Myanmar Engineers – New Zealand
  249. Myanmar Gonye (New Zealand)
  250. Myanmar Helping Citizens’ Group
  251. Myanmar Network in KOREA
  252. Myanmar People Alliance (Shan State)
  253. Myanmar Students’ Union in New Zealand
  254. National Clergy Conference For Justice and Peace
  255. Nationalities Alliance of Burma
  256. NeT Organization
  257. Network for Advocacy Action and Women Network (Tanintharyi)
  258. Network for Human Rights Documentation – Burma (ND-Burma)
  259. Never Again Coalition
  260. New Bodhisattva Network
  261. New York City Burmese Community
  262. New Zealand Doctors for NUG
  263. New Zealand Karen Association
  264. New Zealand Zo Community Inc.
  265. No Business with Genocide
  266. Nyan Lynn Thit Analytica
  267. OFM KOREA JPIC
  268. Olive Organization
  269. Oversea Karen Organization Japan
  270. Overseas Mon Association, New Zealand
  271. Pakokku Youth Development Council (PYDC)
  272. Pa-O Women’s Union
  273. Pa-O Youth Organization
  274. Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM – Party of the Laboring Masses), Philippines
  275. Partido Manggagawa (Labor Party-Philippines)
  276. Pax Christi Institute
  277. Peace Ground
  278. Peace Women Partners, Philippines
  279. Peace-Life Forum
  280. PEN Myanmar
  281. People, not profit
  282. People’s Empowerment Foundation (PEF) – Thailand
  283. People’s Initiative for Development Alternatives (PIDA)
  284. People’s Watch
  285. People’s Action Against Dictator Chun Doo-hwan
  286. People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy (PSPD)
  287. Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA)
  288. Pinagkaisang Galaw at Lakas ng Kababaihan (PIGLAS-KABABAIHAN), Philippines
  289. Poverty Elimination and Community Education (PEACE) Foundation
  290. Progressive 3.0
  291. Progressive Voice
  292. Pyithu Gonye (New Zealand)
  293. Refugees International
  294. Rights Beyond Border (RBB)
  295. Rock Island Karen Community
  296. Rohingya Welfare Organisation New Zealand
  297. Rvwang Community Association New Zealand
  298. Saferworld
  299. Sami Chin Women Organization
  300. Save and Care Organization for Ethnic Women at Border Areas
  301. Save Myanmar (New Zealand)
  302. SEA Junction
  303. sebasa
  304. Secondary School Branch in Goyang of Korea Teachers’ Union
  305. Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa (SENTRO), Philippines
  306. Seongnam City Committee of the Youth Justice Party
  307. Seongnam YMCA
  308. Shan Community (New Zealand)
  309. Shan MATA
  310. Solidarity for Another World
  311. Southern Youth Development Organization
  312. Spirit in Education Movement (SEM)
  313. Spring Revolution Interfaith Network
  314. Steppingstone
  315. Stop the War Coalition Philippines
  316. Students for Free Burma
  317. Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)
  318. Sungmisan School Post-secondary
  319. Support the Democracy Movement in Burma
  320. Supporters Group for Migrant Workers Movement
  321. Sustainability and Participation through Education and Lifelong Learning (SPELL), Philippines
  322. Swedish Burma Committee
  323. Swedish Foundation for Human Rights
  324. Swedish Rohingya Association
  325. Synergy – Social Harmony Organization
  326. Ta’ang Legal Aid
  327. Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP)
  328. Taunggyi Youth Center
  329. Thai Allied Committee with Desegregated Burma Foundation (TACDB)
  330. Thai Volunteer Service (TVS)
  331. The April 9 Unification & Peace Foundation
  332. The Burmese American Community Institute (BACI)
  333. The Burmese Rohingya Association of North America
  334. The Burmese Rohingya Community of Georgia
  335. The Declaration of Global Citizens
  336. The Korean Council for Justice and Remembrance for the Issues of Military Sexual Slavery by Japan
  337. The Labor Union of Jogye order
  338. The May 18 Memorial Foundation
  339. The Mekong Butterfly
  340. The Sound of Hope
  341. Think Centre
  342. Thint Myat Lo Thu Myar
  343. Timor-Leste Youth and Young Journalist Peace Culture Center
  344. U.S Advocacy Coalition for Myanmar (USACM)
  345. Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA
  346. Union For Civil Liberty (UCL), Thailand
  347. Union of Karenni State Youth
  348. Unitarian Universalist Association
  349. Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC)
  350. United States Campaign for Burma
  351. Victorian Myanmar Youth (VMY)
  352. Vocation Office of Catholic Diocese of Daejeon, South Korea
  353. Women Advocacy Coalition – Myanmar
  354. Women’s League of Burma
  355. Women’s Peace Network
  356. Wonders International
  357. Youth Justice Party, Gyeonggi Province Party
  358. Youth of KimDae-jung Foundation

We continue to receive strong number of endorsements passed the deadline (9 September). As these additional signatories came in late and are not included in the letter sent to UNGA in the morning of 10 September, they are listed down as below.

  • Alliance for Free Burma Solidarity
  • Asian Cultural Forum on Development (ACFOD)
  • Asian Democracy Network (ADN)
  • Campaign Committee for Human Rights (CCHR), Thailand
  • Campaign for Popular Democracy (CPD), Thailand
  • Dallas Karen Baptist Church
  • DFW Karen Community
  • International Women Partnership for Peace and Justice (IWP)
  • Migrant Working Group (MWG)
  • Myanmar’s Spring – Korea
  • Peace and Culture Foundation, Thaiiand
  • Peace and Human Rights Resource Center (PHRC), Thailand
  • Regional Center for Social Science and Sustainable Development, Chiangmai University, Thailand
  • SHAPPE Sea
  • Thai Allied Committee with Desegregated Burma Foundation (TACDB),Thailand
  • Yayasan Perlindungan Insani, Indonesia

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