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CHRONOLOGY OF VISITS AND REPORTS

Since 1990, eight envoys have been appointed by the United Nations system to facilitate dialogue between the regime and pro-democracy forces, and to carry out fact-finding mission in Burma. UN Envoys, and Rapporteurs have visited Burma 58 times. In addition, the UN Secretary-General has visited Burma three times.

Years

Name

Mandate/Title

Country visits

Dates of visits

1990

Sadako Ogata
(Japan)
Independent Expert of the UN Commission on Human Rights on the human rights situation in Myanmar
1
 

1992-1996

Yozo Yokota
(Japan)
Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights Myanmar
4

7 to 14 December 1992; 9 to 16 November 1993; 7 to 16 November 1994; 8 to 17 October 1995.

1996-2000

Rajsoomer Lallah (Mauritius) Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights Myanmar
0
 

1995-1999

Alvaro de Soto
(Peru)
Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs (1995-1997) / Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Myanmar (1997-1999)
6

6 to 8 February 1995; 13 to 19 August 1995; 7 to 10 May 1997; 20 to 23 January 1998; 27 to 30 October 1998; 14 to 18 October 1999.

2000-2008

Paulo Sergio Pinheiro (Brazil) Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights Myanmar
7

3 to 5 April 2001; 9 to 17 October 2001; 10 to 19 February 2002; 17 to 28 October 2002; 19 to 24 March 2003; 3 to 8 November 2003; 11 to 15 November 2007.

2000-2006

Razali Ismail
(Malaysia)
Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Myanmar
12

29 June to 3 July 2000; 9 to 12 October 2000; 5 to 9 January 2001; 1 to 4 June 2001; 27 to 30 August 2001; 27 November to 3 December 2001; 23 to 26 April 2002; 2 to 6 August 2002; 12 to 16 November 2002; 6 to 10 June 2003; 30 September to 2 October 2003; 1 to 4 March 2004.

2006-2009

Ibrahim Gambari (Nigeria) Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs (2006-2007) / Special Advisor on Myanmar (2007- 2009)
8

18 to 20 May 2006; 9 to 12 November 2006; 29 September to 2 October 2007; 3 to 8 November 2007; 6 to 10 March 2008; 18 to 23 August 2008; 31 January to 3 February 2009; 26-27 June 2009.

2007-current Ban Ki-moon (South Korea) Secretary-General
3
22-23 May 2008; 3-4 July 2009; 29 April to 1 May 2012.
2008-2014 Tomás Ojea Quintana (Argentina) Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights Myanmar
9
3 to 7 August 2008; 14 to 19 February 2009; 15 to 19 February 2010; 21 to 25 August 2011; 31 January to 5 February 2012; 29 July to 4 August; 11 to 16 February 2013; 11-21 August 2013; 14-19 February 2014.
2010-current Vijay Nambiar (India) UN Secretary-General Chief of Staff (2007- 2012) / UN Special Advisor to the Secretary-General for Myanmar (2010-current)
12
27-28 November 2010; 11 to 13 May 2011; 31 October to 4 November 2011; 12 to 17 February 2012; 29 April to 1 May 2012; 12 to 15 June 2012; 12-16 September 2012; 16 to 20 December 2012; 13 to 16 January 2013; 3-6 February 2013; 21-25 March 2013; 25 August to 2 September 2013.
2014-current Yanghee Lee (South Korea) Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights Myanmar
1
17 to 26 July 2014.
     
1990
   
     

In November, the Independent Expert of the UN Commission on Human Rights Sadako Ogata visited Burma.

In her December report on her visit submitted to the UN Commission on Human Rights on her visit, Ogata indicated that it had not been determined when the representatives of the Parliament elected in May would be convened to draft Burma’s new constitution.

   
     
1992
   
     

On 10 June, the UN Commission on Human Rights appointed Yozo Yokota as UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Burma to implement the Commission’s resolution 1992/58.

In December, the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) told the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Burma Yozo Yokota that the representatives elected in the 1990 elections would be tasked with drafting Burma’s new constitution through the National Convention. However, the NLD – who had won 392 of the 485 seats in the 1990 election - was allowed to send only 97 MPs out of the 702 delegates named to the National Convention. SLORC also told Yokota that they were “sincere” in their wish to cooperate with the United Nations. Yokota however noted that SLORC authoritiesdid not extend him “full and unreserved cooperation” during the visit. He was not allowed to see any of the detainees he had requested to meet, including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

   
     
1993
   
     

On 10 November, SLORC Secretary-1 Lt Gen Khin Nyunt told UN Special Rapporteur Yozo Yokota that it was “still too early” for a visit to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, but that it might be “perhaps possible in the future.” When asked if the SLORC intended to release her on 20 July 1994, Khin Nyunt answered that it was still too early to say.

 
CHR, 49th session, 17 February 1993, E/CN.4/1993/37
UNGA, 48th session, 16 November 1993, A/48/578
     
1994
   
     

In his February report to the UN Commission on Human Rights, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Burma Yozo Yokota said that given the composition of the delegates (only one out of seven delegates was elected in the May 1990 elections), the restrictions imposed upon the delegates, and the general guidelines to be strictly followed, the National Convention did not constitute the necessary “steps towards the restoration to democracy.”

On 20 September, SLORC Chairman Sr Gen Than Shwe and SLORC Secretary-1 Lt Gen Khin Nyunt met with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. A second meeting between Khin Nyunt and Daw Suu was held in October.

On 14 November, SLORC Secretary-1 Lt Gen Khin Nyunt assured UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Burma Yozo Yokota that once the new constitution had been drafted and adopted elections would take place and a civilian government would take power. Khin Nyunt said that it was not the moment to specify when a new civilian government would be formed under the new constitution. However, he said the junta wanted to complete the National Convention “as soon as possible.” Yokota requested to visit Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, but Khin Nyunt said that it was not the appropriate moment for a visit as the junta was holding discussions with her and did not want any interference in that dialogue. Khin Nyunt said they intended to continue its dialogue with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in the future.

 
CHR, 50th session, 16 February 1994, E/CN.4/1994/57
UNGA, 49th session, 28 October 1994, A/49/594
     
1995
   
     

In his January report to the UN Commission on Human Rights, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Burma Yozo Yokota said that given the composition of the delegates (only one out of seven delegates was elected in the May 1990 elections), the restrictions imposed upon the delegates, and the general guidelines to be strictly followed, the National Convention did not constitute the necessary “steps towards the restoration to democracy.”

In February, the SLORC informed UN Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Alvaro de Soto that although no meetings had been held with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi since the end of October, it was the junta's intention to meet again with the pro-democracy leader.

On 10 July, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was released from house arrest. The following day, she told reporters she was dedicated to the restoration in Burma and called for a dialogue between the military junta, the democracy movement and non-Burman ethnic nationality groups. She also urged a rethinking of foreign investment in Burma.

In August, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Alvaro de Soto tried to encourage the SLORC to open a substantive political dialogue with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and other elected political leaders. In reply, SLORC pointed out that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was an ordinary citizen, that in 1990 there were as many as 230 political parties with which it would be impossible to establish a dialogue, and that it would not be fair to single out only one of them. The SLORC also said that nothing should be done to detract attention from the National Convention, which was the designated forum for political dialogue.

On 16 October, SLORC Secretary-1 Lt Gen Khin Nyunt assured the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Burma Yozo Yokota that the junta had direct contact with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, but it had so many important tasks to achieve in terms of economic and social development that at that time it was not a priority to resume its dialogue with her.

 
CHR, 51st session, 12 January 1995, E/CN.4/1995/65
CHR, 51st session, 21 February 1995, E/CN.4/1995/150
UNGA, 50th session, 16 October 1995, A/50/568
UNGA, 50th session, 24 November 1995, A/50/782
     
1996
   
     

In his February report to the UN Commission on Human Rights, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Burma Yozo Yokota said that given the composition of the delegates (only one out of seven delegates was elected in the May 1990 elections), the restrictions imposed upon the delegates, and the general guidelines to be strictly followed, the National Convention did not constitute the necessary “steps towards the restoration to democracy.”

On 4 April, SLORC Foreign Minister Ohn Gyaw told UN Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Alvaro de Soto that the National Convention continued to be the only forum for a dialogue with political leaders, including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. Ohn Gyaw also said that the SLORC’s priority was “national reconsolidation” and the eradication of national insurgencies.

In his April report to the UN Commission on Human Rights, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan expressed regret that the SLORC did not follow up on the release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and other prominent political leaders with the opening of a substantive dialogue as called for by the UN General Assembly and the UN Commission on Human Rights.

On 12 May, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Burma Yozo Yokota resigned, claiming he did not have the resources to carry out his work. In June, the UN Commission on Human Rights appointed Rajsoomer Lallah as the new UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Burma.

In his November report to the UN General Assembly, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan expressed disappointment that it had not been possible for his envoys to visit Burma since the adoption of resolution 50/194 in December 1995. Annan also expressed “regret” that no progress could be reported in the areas on which the UN General Assembly and the UN Commission on Human Rights had repeatedly expressed concern.

 
CHR, 52nd session, 5 February 1996, E/CN.4/1996/65
CHR, 52nd session, 17 April 1996, E/CN.4/1996/157
UNGA, 51st session, 8 October 1996, A/51/466
UNGA, 51st session, 8 November 1996, A/51/660
     
1997
   
     

In July, SLORC Secretary-1 Lt Gen Khin Nyunt met with NLD Chairman Aung Shwe and two members of the party’s Central Executive Committee.

On 1 October, SLORC Foreign Minister Ohn Gyaw reiterated that a substantive political dialogue with the NLD and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was only possible within the framework of the National Convention. Ohn Gyaw suggested that contacts with the NLD might be held in stages, leaving open the possibility that they might lead to discussions on substantive matters. Ohn Gyaw also refused to give a time-frame for the resumption of the National Convention, which had not convened since March 1996.

In his November report to the UN General Assembly, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan welcomed contacts between the junta and the NLD as an initial step for a genuine political dialogue. Annan also welcomed the fact that the NLD could hold a party congress. He expressed “disappointment” that no further progress had been made with regard to the areas of concern of the UN General Assembly and the UN Commission on Human Rights.

 
CHR, 53rd session, 6 February 1997, E/CN.4/1997/64
UNGA, 52nd session, 16 October 1997, A/52/484
UNGA, 52nd session, 10 November 1997, A/52/587
     
1998
   
     

On 17 April, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Burma Rajsoomer Lallah said that two years after assuming the mandate he had seen “no change in the political or human rights situation” in Burma. Lallah said that the military regime did not wish to engage in a political dialogue unless the NLD ceased its political activities.

In 18 August, SLORC Secretary-1 Lt Gen Khin Nyunt met with NLD Chairman Aung Shwe. The junta considered the meeting fruitful and expected it would be the first of a series of confidence-building talks between the regime and the NLD. However, the junta used the NLD’s 21 August 1998 call for the convening of the parliament as a pretext for not holding follow-up meetings with the party Chairman.

In October, the SPDC justified the curtailment of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's freedom of movement out of concerns for her own safety. The junta claimed that Daw Suu’s call for a boycott of investment and tourism and her support of sanctions had rendered her “widely unpopular.”

In his November report to the UN General Assembly, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan expressed his “disappointment” for the lack of genuine, substantive progress on the part of the SPDC in addressing the recommendations of previous UN General Assembly resolutions.

 
CHR, 54th session, 15 January 1998, E/CN.4/1998/70
UNGA, 53rd session, 10 September 1998, A/53/364
UNGA, 53rd session, 10 November 1998, A/53/657
     
1999
   
     
In his October report to the UN General Assembly, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said that there was no concrete progress on issues of concern of the UN General Assembly and the UN Commission on Human Rights.
 
CHR, 55th session, 22 January 1999, E/CN.4/1999/35
UNGA, 54th session, 4 October 1999, A/54/440
UNGA, 54th session, 27 October 1999, A/54/499
     
2000
   
     

On 4 April, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan appointed Razali Ismail as UN Special Envoy for Burma. His mandate was to facilitate the implementation of the UN General Assembly resolution 54/186.

On 24 August, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and a dozen other NLD leaders were stopped near Dala, on the outskirts of Rangoon. On 2 September, after a nine-day standoff, SPDC authorities brought Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the NLD leaders back to Rangoon and confined them to their homes. On 14 September, SPDC authorities lifted the restrictions. However, on 21 September, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and other NLD leaders attempted to travel to Mandalay. The regime brought Daw Aung San Suu Kyi back from the Rangoon train station and again confined her to her home.

In his October report to the UN General Assembly, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan expressed hopes that Razali’s discussions with the SPDC’s top leadership and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi would result in “a new momentum for a resumption of the process of dialogue between the two sides” in the following months.

On 26 October, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Burma Rajsoomer Lallah said that the policy of SPDC over the past several years still continued to “privilege the repression of all political activity over the engagement in a genuine political dialogue.” Lallah concluded that it was an “unfortunate and regrettable duty” to address the UN General Assembly year after year to report on a human right situation that showed no improvement and discarded the repeated resolutions of the UN General Assembly and the UN Commission on Human Rights.

On 2 November 2000, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Burma Rajsoomer Lallah resigned, citing lack of logistical and administrative support from the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. “I see very little changing, year after year the General Assembly and the Commission pass resolutions, I feel rather disappointed,” he said following his resignation. Lallah was never allowed to enter Burma during his four-year mandate.

 
CHR, 56th session, 24 January 2000, E/CN.4/2000/38
UNGA, 55th session, 22 August 2000, A/55/359
UNGA, 55th session, 20 October 2000, A/55/509
     
2001
   
     

In January, the SPDC began releasing political prisoners, relaxing the rules restricting political activities, and allowing NLD township offices in Rangoon and Mandalay districts to reopen.

On 6 February, the UN Commission on Human Rights appointed Paulo Sergio Pinheiro to serve as the new UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Burma. “I am very encouraged by recent positive and constructive developments in Myanmar, especially with regard to the progress in the field of national reconciliation,” Pinheiro said after his appointment.

In his August report to the UN General Assembly, the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Burma Paulo Sergio Pinheiro said that against the background of ongoing talks between the SPDC and the NLD there had been some positive signals indicative of the junta’s endeavor to make progress in the area of human rights. Among the positive developments, Pinheiro highlighted the dissemination of human rights standards for public officials, the work of the SPDC’s Committee on Human Rights, the release of political detainees, the reopening of branches of the NLD, the continued international monitoring of prison conditions, and the cooperation with the UN Commission on Human Rights.

In October, after an interval of six years, the SPDC and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi resumed talks on national reconciliation. The specific details of the process were not known, as both sides agreed to maintain the substance of their discussions confidential. UN Special Envoy for Burma Razali Ismail was the catalyst behind the “secret talks” between Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the military regime. Razali had visited Burma several times with a view to facilitating dialogue between the two sides.

In October, SPDC Secretary-1 Lt Gen Khin Nyunt assured UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Burma Paulo Sergio Pinheiro of the junta’s full cooperation. Khin Nyunt told Pinheiro that the junta was genuinely committed to improving the well-being of the population. Khin Nyunt also acknowledged the need to improve human rights and engage in political transition.

 
UNGA, 56th session, 20 August 2001, A/56/312
UNGA, 56th session, 24 October 2001, A/56/505
     
2002
   
     

On 6 May, the SPDC released Daw Aung San Suu Kyi after 19 months of house arrest. On the same day, the SPDC issued a statement entitled “Turning of a New Page”, which read: “[…] We shall recommit ourselves to allowing all of our citizens to participate freely in the life of our political process, while giving priority to national unity, peace and stability of the country.” Daw Aung San Suu Kyi commented on that occasion that it marked the end of the confidence building phase of secret talks between herself and the SPDC, which had been facilitated by the UN Special Envoy for Burma Razali Ismail in September 2000. Her release occurred following Razali’s seventh visit to Rangoon. Pinheiro referred to the recent developments as a “new phase of testing confidence building in action”. He also said that the atmosphere surrounding Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s release was reported to be much better than it was in 1995. Pinheiro concluded by saying that the move from the “confidence-building phase to the beginning of a dialogue on substantive political and constitutional issues in Burma must be supported by all means available.”

On 21 November, the SPDC released 115 prisoners, including members of the NLD. It was the largest single release of prisoners since the beginning of the process of confidence building between the SPDC and the NLD in October 2000.

In his December report to the UN Commission on Human Rights, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Burma Paulo Sergio Pinheiro stated that the release of prisoners demonstrated the “continuing goodwill of the SPDC to ease the political atmosphere.” Pinheiro said that as a result of the climate of political expectancy generated by the “secret talks” initiated two years earlier, repression of peaceful political activities had somewhat softened. “The 6 May 2002 statement by the SPDC was interpreted by many Burmese citizens as a signal that a page effectively had been turned and that the space for political activities was being reopened,” concluded Pinheiro.

 
CHR, 58th session, 10 January 2002, E/CN.4/2002/45
CHR, 58th session, 18 March 2002, E/CN.4/2002/35
UNGA, 57th session, 9 August 2002, A/57/290
CHR, 59th session, 27 December 2002, E/CN.4/2003/41
     
2003
   
     

On 22 March, the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Burma Paulo Sergio Pinheiro interrupted his visit to Burma after discovering a listening device placed under the table in the room where he was conducting interviews with political prisoners in Rangoon’s Insein prison. On 31 March, Pinheiro addressed the UN Commission on Human Rights, criticizing the SPDC’s lack of progress in talks. “[…] Progress has regrettably been very limited and not at the pace or level that I had expected,” Pinheiro said.

On 30 May, NLD members and supporters accompanying Daw Aung San Suu Kyi were attacked by pro-junta thugs near Depayin, Sagaing Division. As a result, more than 100 NLD members and elected MP, supporters, monks and students, were arrested, killed, wounded and missing. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, her deputy Tin Oo, and other NLD leaders, were subsequently detained.

In July, UN Special Envoy Razali Ismail urged the UN and ASEAN to coordinate efforts to obtain the release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and promote reconciliation. A UN spokesman stated that UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan expected Razali to “work with government officials toward her immediate and unconditional release.”

Following intense international pressure, the SPDC allowed UN Special Envoy Razali Ismail to visit Rangoon from 6 to 10 June. The regime successfully hijacked the agenda so that instead of facilitating dialogue, Razali’s efforts were focused on obtaining a brief meeting with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. SPDC Chairman Sr Gen Than Shwe chose to snub Razali and show his contempt for the UN process by going on a beach vacation during Razali’s trip.

In his August report to the UN General Assembly, the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Burma Paulo Sergio Pinheiro said that “the deadlock symptoms with regard to the dialogue and escalating political tensions contributed to setting the scene for the tragic events of the night of 30 May, followed by a significant deterioration of the human rights situation.” “The 30 May incident has undone in one stroke all the progress that had been achieved since the process of dialogue began in 2000”, Pinheiro added.

On 30 August, the new SPDC Prime Minister Gen Khin Nyunt announced the regime’s “seven-point roadmap to democracy.” The roadmap was a response to heightened regional and international pressure following the Depayin massacre. Some members of the international community hailed it as a positive initiative towards a process of political transition.

On 8 September, UN Special Envoy for Burma Razali Ismail announced that the SPDC had scrapped plans for him to visit Burma that month.

On 29 September, at the UN General Assembly, SPDC Foreign Minister Win Aung responded to criticism that the SPDC was not committed to democratization and reconciliation by assuring that they had “the political will,” Win Aung also attempted to reduce pressure regarding Daw Suu, saying, “We don’t call this house arrest.”

 
UNGA, 58th session, 5 August 2003, UN Doc A/58/219
     
2004
   
     
 

On 4 March, at the end of a four-day visit to Burma, UN Special Envoy Razali Ismail emerged confident that SPDC-NLD relations were improving. Razali said SPDC Prime Minister Gen Khin Nyunt appeared committed to allowing democracy, but needed “more power to push it through.” “I am convinced that the Prime Minister wants to move the process forward all the way to democracy,” Razali said. Razali also said that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi wanted to “turn the page” and work “in a harmonized relationship” with the junta. During his talks with Gen Khin Nyunt and NLD leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Razali was said to have suggested the creation of a “constitution-drafting council” ahead of the National Convention. The forum would allow a tripartite dialogue between the junta, the NLD, and the ethnic nationalities. Having failed once again to secure Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s release, or any breakthrough in the democratization process, Razali was nevertheless “encouraged by the expressions of commitment of the Prime Minister to implement, in an all-inclusive manner, the Government’s seven-step roadmap, starting with the reconvening of the National Convention.”

The regime’s “pragmatists”, Foreign Minister Win Aung and Prime Minister Gen Khin Nyunt continued to mesmerize the international community with promises to release Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and include the NLD in the National Convention. UN Special Envoy Razali Ismail expressed similar optimism following his visit to Rangoon in early March. He said that 16 April had been fixed as an “informal deadline” for the Nobel Laureate’s release. Razali had to set a new deadline for Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s release after the National Convention started without her in May 2004. Razali said the NLD leader’s detention was unacceptable and that he hoped to set a timeframe for her release "well before" ASEAN’s annual summit in Vientiane, Laos, in November. With the departure of SPDC Foreign Minister Win Aung on 18 September, Razali’s standing with the regime weakened. Win Aung was considered a “moderate”, in favor of engagement with the international community and close to General Khin Nyunt, the junta’s PM and main interlocutor to Razali.

 
CHR, 60th session, 5 January 2004, E/CN.4/2004/33
UNGA, 59th session, 30 August 2004, A/59/311
CHR, 61st session, 2 December 2004, E/CN.4/2005/36
     
2005
   
     

In his March report to the UN Commission on Human Rights, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said that the National Convention did not adhere to the recommendations made by successive resolutions of the UN General Assembly and the UN Commission on Human Rights. Annan appealed to the SPDC to “resume without delay a substantive political dialogue with the representatives of all ethnic nationality groups and political leaders, including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, to help achieve a genuine process of national reconciliation.”

In December, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan designated UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Ibrahim Gambari to conduct the first-ever briefing on Burma at the UN Security Council. The UN Security Council heard the briefing on Burma on 16 December.

 
CHR, 61st session, 7 March 2005, E/CN.4/2005/130
UNGA, 60th session, 12 August 2005, A/60/221
     
2006
   
     

In January, UN Special Envoy for Burma Razali Ismail resigned frustrated at being barred from entering the country for nearly two years. “My contract lapsed after December 2005. It is clear they [the military junta] do not want me back,” Razali said. “I have not been allowed to visit the [Burma] leadership in [Rangoon] in the past 22 months.” Razali visited Burma 12 times as Special Envoy.

On 20 May, UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Ibrahim Gambari met with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. He was the first foreigner who had been allowed to visit Daw Suu since Razali’s last mission to Burma in March 2004. Gambari’s unexpected meeting with Daw Suu prompted speculation that Daw Suu would be released when her detention expired on 27 May. These expectations were heightened when SPDC police chief Maj Gen Khin Yi publicly admitted that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s release from house arrest was unlikely to pose a threat to the country’s political stability. However, on 27 May, the SPDC extended Daw Suu’s detention for another year.

On 31 May, Gambari briefed the UN Security Council on his visit to Burma. At the briefing, Gambari expressed the UN Secretariat’s disappointment over the SPDC’s failure to release Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

On 27 November, Gambari briefed the UN Security Council on his 9-12 November trip to Burma. Gambari said the military authorities had made “some small steps” since his previous visit in May, but he warned that the “good offices” process of the Secretary General towards Burma “cannot be open ended.” “We are now waiting for the government to [take] further steps to respond to the concerns of the international community. The ball is clearly in the court of the government,” he added.

 
CHR, 62nd session, 7 February 2006, E/CN.4/2006/34
UNGA, 61st session, 21 September 2006, A/61/369
     
2007
   
     

In his February report to the UN Human Rights Committee (former UN Commission on Human Rights), UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Burma Paulo Sergio Pinheiro concluded that the SPDC had decided to refuse to cooperate with the UN Human Rights Council. The human rights concerns enumerated in the report were the same as those highlighted in his previous reports since 2001. Pinheiro said that the willingness to address human rights problems, which the SPDC had shown six years earlier, had disappeared. Pinheiro said the SPDC had not demonstrated any willingness to concede space for a political opening, nor for the promised move towards democratization.

On 22 May, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon designated Ibrahim Gambari as his Special Advisor on Burma. In this capacity, Gambari continued the “good offices” role that he had performed as the UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs.

On 5 October, both UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and UN Special Advisor on Burma Ibrahim Gambari addressed UN Security Council members on the situation in Burma. Ban Ki-moon said that the use of force to put down peaceful protests in Burma was “abhorrent and unacceptable.” He also urged the SPDC to release detainees and start a dialogue with political opponents.

On 8 October, the SPDC appointed Maj Gen Aung Kyi as Minister for Relations to act as liaison officer in negotiations with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

On 2 November, the SPDC ordered the expulsion of UN humanitarian coordinator in Rangoon, Charles Petrie. In a 24 October statement, Petrie had criticized the junta for holding back Burma's development and for not addressing high levels of malnutrition and poverty. Petrie had also called on the junta to heed the voices of protesters.

On 3 November, UN Special Advisor on Burma Ibrahim Gambari visited Burma in an attempt to kick start dialogue between the SPDC and the NLD. On 6 November, SPDC Information Minister Brig Gen Kyaw Hsan told Gambari that his proposal for UN-led tripartite dialogue between Gambari, the junta, and Daw Aung San Kyi “will not be possible.” Kyaw San also lectured Gambari about the UN’s ties with “big power bullies” and voiced the SPDC’s dissatisfaction with the outcome of Gambari’s previous visit, which was followed by sanctions from the US, Australia, and the EU as well as condemnation from the UN Security Council.

On 11 November, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Burma Paulo Sergio Pinheiro was allowed to visit the country for the first time in four years. Pinheiro’s presence in Burma did not deter the SPDC from arresting numerous activists in Rangoon. The SPDC organized and controlled Pinheiro’s agenda. Two of the five days of the mission were entirely devoted to meetings with SPDC officials. Pinheiro was granted limited access to monasteries, places of detention, and other locations where human rights violations occurred. Pinheiro’s visits to Insein prison took place in an atmosphere of allegations that the SPDC had transferred key political prisoners to other location to prevent Pinheiro from meeting with them.

 
HRC, 4th session, 12 February 2007, A/HRC/4/14
UNGA, 62nd session, 13 August 2007, A/62/223
HRC, 6th session, 7 December 2007, A/HRC/6/14
     
2008
   
     

On 6 March, UN Special Advisor on Burma Ibrahim Gambari arrived in Burma for a five-day official visit. On 7 March, Gambari met with SPDC Information Minister Brig Gen Kyaw Hsan and other junta officials. Kyaw Hsan roundly rejected UN requests for opening the constitutional drafting process and more substantive political dialogue with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. “It is impossible to review or rewrite the constitution […],” Kyaw Hsan said. Kyaw Hsan also accused Gambari of “bias” and “act[ing] outside [his] role as mediator” by releasing a statement from Daw Suu in November. He expressed unhappiness with Gambari's trips to other countries in the region and warned that his role as an “impartial adviser” would be brought into question if he follows suggestions from Western nations. Gambari also met with members of the SPDC-appointed referendum commission. The regime rejected offers of UN technical assistance and help with providing observers at the referendum. Referendum commissioner Thaung Nyunt told Gambari the military had enough experience with running elections.

On 14 March, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Burma Paulo Sergio Pinheiro slammed the SPDC for its patently false claims of democratization. “There is a contradiction between what the government of Myanmar says it is doing, and what is really happening,” Pinheiro said. “If you believe in gnomes, trolls, and elves, you can believe in this process of democracy in Myanmar,” he added. “No referendum or elections can be fair, no transition to democracy can be effective, without the release of political prisoners, the authorization for all political parties to operate, and the protection of the basic civil and political freedoms, all non-existent in Myanmar,” Pinheiro concluded. The SPDC denied Pinheiro a travel visa despite a UN Human Rights Council request for a follow-up visit.

In his last report presented to the UN Human Rights Council as UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Burma in March, Pinheiro said that the SPDC’s willingness to address human rights abuses had “disappeared.”

On 28 March, the Human Rights Council appointed Argentine lawyer Tomás Ojea Quintana as the new UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Burma.

On 6 June, in his first report to the UN Human Rights Council, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Burma Tomás Ojea Quintana said that the human rights situation in Burma had not improved since the previous report and critical issues still had to be addressed. Ojea Quintana also said that the SPDC’s constitutional referendum process lacked transparency, free debate, and dissemination of information among the public.

On 3 August, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Burma Tomás Ojea Quintana began a five-day visit to the country, his first since taking up the post in May. As with previous visits by UN envoys, the SPDC tightly controlled Ojea Quintana’s schedule. The Special Rapporteur’s visit included meetings with various regime officials, pro-junta political parties, SPDC-backed organizations, and UN officials. The regime turned down Ojea Quintana’s request to travel to Arakan and Karen States.

On 22 September, UN Special Advisor on Burma Ibrahim Gambari made his frustrations “very clear” because the process of engagement with the junta produced “no tangible results.” Gambari said “I believe—from my last conversation with Aung San Suu Kyi in March—that she posed a number of questions through the minister [Liaison Minister Major-General Aung Kyi] to the authorities and [she] did not get answers.” Gambari also said, “We—the United Nations [support] that the Government should consider raising the level of the interlocutor on their side so that there would be prompt responses to her questions.”

On 23 October, in his report to the UN General Assembly, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Burma Tomás Ojea Quintana assessed his first visit to the country. Ojea Quintana said that although there was immense need for reform in the SPDC’s institutions, he saw “great potential” since the representatives with whom he spoke were “ready to learn and apply international human rights standards.” He laid out a checklist of four core human rights elements to be implemented before the 2010 elections which included the comprehensive review of national legislation in accordance with international obligations, progressive release of political prisoners, reform of the armed forces, and the institution of an impartial and independent judiciary.

 
HRC, 7th session, 5 March 2008, A/HRC/7/18
HRC, 7th session, 7 March 2008, A/HRC/7/24
HRC, 8th session, 3 June 2008, A/HRC/8/12
UNGA, 63rd session, 5 September 2008, A/63/341
     
2009
   
     

On 31 January, UN Special Advisor on Burma Ibrahim Gambari returned to the country on a four-day visit. The main topics of discussion in the high-level meetings were dialogue between the SPDC and the NLD, securing more releases of political prisoners, and paving the way for a democratic political process. When he confronted SPDC Prime Minister Gen Thein Sein with these demands, Thein Sein diverted from any commitments to human rights improvement by replying that the US should first drop economic sanctions if it wanted to see economic and political stability.

On 13 February, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Burma Tomás Ojea Quintana began a six-day trip to the country, upon which he concluded there was no improvement on the situation on human rights since his previous visit in August 2008.

On 11 March, in his report before the UN Human Rights Council, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Burma Tomás Ojea Quintana reiterated that the SPDC “expressed its readiness to implement the four core elements,” but he added that their effective implementation and completion had yet to be seen.

On 14 May, the SPDC detained Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in Insein prison on account of the intrusion of an American man into her residence. On 18 May, her closed-door trial began.

On 16 June, five UN Special Rapporteurs, including the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Burma Tomás Ojea Quintana, said that the SPDC’s trial of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi flouted international standards.

On 3 July, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon began a two-day visit to the country. SPDC Chairman Senior-General Than Shwe twice denied the Secretary-General’s request to meet with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. “The refusal of the senior leadership to allow me to meet with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was not only a deep disappointment, but also a major lost opportunity for Myanmar,” Ban Ki-moon said.

On 11 August, the SPDC convicted and sentenced Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to 18 months under house arrest. Four UN Special Rapporteurs including the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Burma Tomás Ojea Quintana blasted the trial of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi as “baseless,” “unlawful,” and not in line with international standards. The four said that the court was not independent, judicial guarantees were disregarded, and the charges under the State Protection Law were unsubstantiated. The trial was “riddled with irregularities from start to finish” and “should never have occurred in the first place,” the four UN experts said.

In his August report to the UN General Assembly, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Burma Tomás Ojea Quintana said that human rights violations in Burma were “widespread” and “systematic” and indicated that the situation had worsened in some areas. He also echoed his previous statement that he had yet to witness the “effective implementation” of the four core human rights elements. He expressed regret in not being able to discuss the four core elements with SPDC leaders because the regime denied his request to visit Burma on 5 July and in early August. He said that he considered the continuation of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s house arrest “a blow” to the SPDC’s seven-step road-map to democracy. He made clear that unless the SPDC releases Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and all other political prisoners to enable them to participate freely in the 2010 elections, the polls will not be considered free, fair or inclusive.

In his August report to the UN General Assembly, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he was disappointed and concerned that meaningful steps had yet to be taken by the SPCD. Reporting on the status of substantive dialogue, the Secretary-General said that the SPDC did not permit a three-way discussion involving UN Special Advisor on Burma Ibrahim Gambari, SPDC Liaison Minister Maj Gen Aung Kyi, and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi because the regime’s first priority was “building more understanding” between the SPDC Liaison Minister and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

On 22 October, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Burma Tomás Ojea Quintana said that the human rights situation in the country remained “alarming.”

On 2 December, UN Sec-Gen Ban Ki-Moon announced that Ibrahim Gambari would no longer serve in the position of UN Special Advisor on Burma.

 
HRC, 10th session, 11 March 2009, A/HRC/10/19
UNGA, 64th session, 24 August 2009, A/64/318
UNGA, 64th session, 28 August 2009, A/64/334
     
2010
   
     

On 15 February, after continuously postponing his visit since November of 2009, the SPDC allowed the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Burma Tomás Ojea Quintana to make his third visit to the country. During the five-day visit, the SPDC ignored his request to meet Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, did not grant him access to Than Shwe, and informed him that there were no political prisoners in Burma. Before ending his trip, Ojea Quintana said that without the participation of almost 2,200 political prisoners in Burma, elections would not be credible.

On 1 January, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon designated his Chief of Staff Vijay Nambiar as interim Special Advisor on Burma.

In his March report to the UN General Assembly, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Burma Tomás Ojea Quintana said that the ongoing “gross and systematic violations” of human rights in the country were “the result of a state policy.” He made the unprecedented recommendation that the UN “consider the possibility” to establish a Commission of Inquiry to investigate allegations of crimes against humanity and war crimes in Burma.

In March, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed his “frustration” and “disappointment” towards the SPDC’s election laws, noting that they did not fully measure up to the international community’s expectations. He also said that “without full participation, including by the some 2,100 prisoners of conscience, and an environment that allows people and parties to engage in the range of electoral activities, the elections cannot be credible.”

On 5 May, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Burma Tomás Ojea Quintana released a statement that said the powers granted to the SPDC Electoral Commission “could impede the activities of political parties” and the elections “must be open to full participation, they must be transparent, and they must be conducted in a manner that allows for free and fair choice.” He also said the SPDC had “not yet responded to pleas from inside and outside the country for conditions that allow credible elections.” He called on the junta to ensure the elections be credible by releasing all political prisoners, including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, and allowing them to participate in the polls.

On 17 June, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Burma Tomás Ojea Quintana released a statement that urged the SPDC to release Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. In his statement, Ojea Quintana recalled the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention’s 7 May opinion, which found that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s detention was “in flagrant violation of international law.”

On 1 July, the SPDC informed the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Burma Tomás Ojea Quintana that his fourth country visit request to the country had been denied.

In his September report to the UN General Assembly, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon noted his “disappointment” with the lack of engagement from key SPDC officials. The Secretary-General also expressed concern over the detention of political prisoners and the continued house arrest of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

On 20 October, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Burma Tomás Ojea Quintana delivered harsh criticism of the SPDC’s election process, during his annual report presentation to the UN General Assembly. He called the election “deeply flawed” and not “inclusive, free and fair” and said that the SPDC had failed to “establish an environment for credible, inclusive elections.”

On 12 November, four UN Special Rapporteurs, including the Special Rapporteur on human rights in Burma Tomás Ojea Quintana, issued a joint statement that said the 7 November elections “did not meet international standards.”

On 13 November, the SPDC released Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

On 27 November, UN Secretary-General’s Chief of Staff and interim Special Advisor on Burma Vijay Nambiar arrived in Rangoon for a two-day visit. During his stay, Nambiar met with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, urged the SPDC to investigate election irregularities, and called for the release of all political prisoners. He also said that the UN wanted to see the SPDC hold a “national dialogue” with all the concerned parties in the post-election period.

 
HRC, 13th session, 10 March 2010, A/HRC/13/48
UNGA, 65th session, 14 September 2010, A/65/367
UNGA, 65th session, 15 September 2010, A/65/368
     
2011
   
On 25 February, following a visit to Burmese refugee communities in Malaysia, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Burma Tomás Ojea Quintana said that the “grave” human rights situation in Burma was causing more and more people to flee. As a result, Burma was burdening other countries in the region.

On 14 March, in his report to the Human Rights Council, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Burma Tomás Ojea Quintana said that Burma’s human rights situation remained “serious” and that the 2010 elections “failed to meet international standards.”

On 30 March, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that it was essential for Burma’s new regime to respond to the people’s desire “for national reconciliation, democratization and respect for human rights.”

Due to the regime’s continued refusal to allow him to visit Burma, on 16 May, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Burma Tomás Ojea Quintana began a seven-day visit to Thailand to gather information about the human rights situation in Burma.

On 23 May, at a press conference held in Bangkok, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Burma Ojea Quintana criticized the regime for its ongoing “widespread” human rights abuses. Ojea Quintana also said that he would continue to push for the establishment of a Commission of Inquiry into crimes against humanity and war crimes in Burma at the next session of the UN General Assembly.

On 11 May, the UN Secretary-General’s Chief of Staff and interim Special Advisor on Burma arrived in Burma for a three-day visit. He underlined the importance of the regime implementing its stated commitments on governance, human rights, and the rule of law and stressed that this had to involve inclusive dialogue “with all segments of society.” and the release of all political prisoners.

On 19 May, during a closed-door session, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Chief of Staff Vijay Nambiar briefed UN Security Council members on the release of some political prisoners and the reduction of jail terms for others. He added that the measures so far had been short of expectations and insufficient.

On 14 June, the UN Secretary-General’s Deputy-Spokesperson Farhan Haq said that Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon would soon name a full-time Special Envoy to Burma to encourage the regime on the path to reform.

On 25 July, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed a meeting between Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and regime Labor Minister Aung Kyi but urged the regime to consider the early release of political prisoners.

On 19 August, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and President Thein Sein held a meeting in Naypyidaw.

On 22 August, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the meeting between Daw Aung San Suu Ky and President Thein Sein and said that he “expected the meeting to be followed by further steps towards a sustained high-level dialogue focused on national reconciliation.” Ban also reiterated his call for the release of political prisoners “as a matter of priority.”

In his August report to the UN General Assembly, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon welcomed the regime’s pledges to undertake reforms but called for their “timely implementation.” He stressed that human rights, political, and economic issues in Burma “remain serious, deep-seated and long-standing.” Ban also expressed his “deepest concern” over the detention of political prisoners, which continued to “overshadow and undermine any confidence” in the regime’s efforts.

On 21 August, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Burma Tomás Ojea Quintana began a five-day official visit to the country. It was his first visit to Burma since February 2010. On 25 August, at a press conference in Rangoon, Ojea Quintana said that “serious human rights issues” remained.

On 20 October, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Burma Tomás Ojea Quintana presented his annual report to the UN General Assembly. According to the report, “many serious human rights issues” remain unaddressed. Ojea Quintana said the international community should be ready to consider the establishment of a Commission of Inquiry among the “necessary steps” required to ensure truth, justice, and accountability in Burma.

On 4 November, UN Special Advisor to the Secretary-General for Burma Vijay Nambiar concluded a five-day visit to the country. At a press conference before departing Burma, Nambiar urged the regime to release all remaining political prisoners “as a matter of priority.” Nambiar also urged all stakeholders to advance dialogue in order to strengthen national unity and bring about peace and development in ethnic areas.

 
HRC, 16th session, 7 March 2011, A/HRC/16/59
UNGA, 66th session, 5 August 2011, A/66/267
UNGA, 66th session, 16 September 2011, A/66/365
     
2012
   
On 25 January, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced that Vijay Nambiar would become his Special Advisor for Burma.

On 31 January, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Burma Tomás Ojea Quintana began a six-day fact-finding mission to the country. On 5 February, at a press conference held at Rangoon International Airport, Quintana warned that “serious challenges” remained. In addition, Ojea Quintana said that “justice and accountability measures, as well as measures to ensure access to the truth” were fundamental to move towards national reconciliation. Ojea Quintana also slammed the regime Human Rights Commission. He said there were “no indications” that the Commission was “fully independent” and concluded that the body could not “fully guarantee human rights protection” for the people of Burma.

On 17 February, UN Special Advisor to the Secretary-General for Burma Vijay Nambiar concluded his five-day visit to the country. During his meetings with regime officials, Nambiar stressed the importance of ensuring a credible, fair and transparent political process in the lead-up to the 1 April by-elections; pursuing peace and national reconciliation; and instituting sound socio-economic policies in areas such as health, education and job creation.

On 12 March, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Burma Tomás Ojea Quintana presented his report to the UN Human Rights Council, which said that “serious human rights concerns remain to be addressed,” including the amendment of oppressive laws, the release of all remaining political prisoners, and peace negotiations with ethnic groups.

On 23 April, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that Burma was only just beginning its political transition and that many concerns had yet to be addressed.

On 29 April, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon began a three-day visit to the country. On 30 April, in a speech to Parliament, Ban Ki-moon said that ongoing conflict in Kachin State was inconsistent with the regime’s conclusion of ceasefire agreements with other major ethnic armed groups.

On 29 July, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Burma Tomás Ojea Quintana began a six-day visit to the country. During the visit, he conducted a two-day fact-finding mission to areas hit by sectarian violence in Arakan State. However, the regime denied him access to Kachin State. On 4 August, Ojea Quintana released a statement that said that Burma continued to “grapple with serious human rights challenges.” Ojea Quintana called for an “independent and credible” investigation into allegations of human rights violations. He also called on the regime to address systematic discrimination against Rohingya, including a review of the 1982 Citizenship Law to ensure its compliance with international human rights standards. Ojea Quintana also recommended Parliament form a truth commission responsible to address grievances from decades of human rights violations and to promote national reconciliation.

On 20 September, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Burma Tomás Ojea Quintana renewed his call for the regime to immediately release all remaining political prisoners.

On 29 September, UN Sec-Gen Ban Ki-moon warned of the potential for sectarian unrest in Arakan State to harm the “reform” process in Burma and affect neighboring countries.

On 25 October, Spokesperson for UN Sec-Gen Ban Ki-moon Martin Nesirky said the UN was deeply troubled by renewed sectarian violence in Arakan State and warned that Burma’s reform process would likely be jeopardized if the regime did not take “urgent and effective action” to stop the violence. The UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Burma Ashok Nigam appealed for the UN to be granted “immediate and unconditional access” to communities affected by unrest in Arakan State. He also said the UN was “alarmed” by renewed sectarian violence in Arakan State.

On 25 October, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Burma Tomás Ojea Quintana presented his report to the UN General Assembly’s Third Committee. In the report, Ojea Quintana said that Burma continued to “grapple with serious human rights challenges.” Ojea Quintana said the regime failed to address the root causes of the sectarian violence in Arakan State and take crucial decisions “toward a real solution.” He also called on the regime to address the “endemic discrimination” against Rohingya and ensure respect for their human rights, which should include a review of the 1982 Citizenship Law.

On 31 October, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Burma Tomás Ojea Quintana, along with UN Independent Expert on minority issues Rita Izsák and UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons Chaloka Beyani said that the regime should not use ongoing unrest in Arakan State as an opportunity to permanently remove an “unwelcome community.”

On 9 November, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay called on the regime to review the 1982 Citizenship Law “to ensure that Rohingya have equal access to citizenship.”

On 20 November, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Burma Tomás Ojea Quintana called on Burma’s regime to promptly implement its pledge to allow the resumption of prison visits by the ICRC, discuss the opening of a UNHCHR country office, and set up a mechanism to review the status of prisoners in jails across Burma.

 
HRC, 19th session, 7 March 2011, A/HRC/19/67
UNGA, 67th session, 24 August 2012, A/67/333
UNGA, 67th session, 25 September 2012, A/67/383
     
2013
   

On 2 January, UN Sec-Gen Ban Ki-moon urged the regime to “desist from any action” that may endanger civilian lives or intensify conflict in Kachin State and said that access should be provided for the delivery of aid to those in need.

On 17 January, UN Sec-Gen’s Special Advisor for Burma Vijay Nambiar conveyed the UN’s concern over the situation in Kachin and Arakan States and called on relevant parties to ease tensions, promote dialogue, and ensure humanitarian access to affected communities.

On 20 January, UN Sec-Gen Ban Ki-moon urged both sides in the Kachin State conflict to work for sustained peace, and engage in political dialogue. On 6 February, UN Sec-Gen Ban Ki-moon urged the regime and the KIO to continue their efforts towards “genuine and sustainable peace” in Kachin State.

On 3 February, UN Sec-Gen’s Special Advisor on Burma Vijay Nambiar began a four-day visit to the country. On 7 February, Nambiar issued a statement in which he welcomed the regime’s assurances of the resumption of humanitarian access for the UN and international aid agencies to IDPs in Kachin State.

On 7 February, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Burma Ashok Nigam welcomed the regime’s pledge to allow humanitarian assistance to all IDPs in Kachin State but said that details on security and logistics must be “expedited.”

On 10 February, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Burma Tomás Ojea Quintana arrived in Burma for a six-day visit to the country. On 16 February, Quintana issued a statement that said that “significant human rights shortcomings” in the country remain unaddressed.

On 12 February, UN Sec-Gen Ban Ki-moon said that civilians remain subject to unacceptable threats to life and dignity in conflict zones worldwide, including Burma.

On 15 February, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Burma Ashok Nigam called for the acceleration of the release of all children from the Tatmadaw and from ethnic armed groups.

On 8 March, in his periodic report to the UN Human Rights Council, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Burma Tomás Ojea Quintana said that “significant human rights shortcomings” remain unaddressed in the country. On 8 March, Tomás Ojea Quintana said that the establishment of a ‘truth commission’ for crimes committed under the military junta was not on the agenda of any of the stakeholders in Burma, including the regime, political parties, and ethnic groups. On 11 March, Tomás Ojea Quintana said that the situation in Arakan State was “extreme”, with almost 120,000 people living in IDP camps without adequate healthcare.

On 14 March, UN Sec-Gen Ban Ki-moon welcomed the 11-12 March talks between the regime and the KIO and said that both parties should “redouble their efforts” towards attaining genuine and durable solutions to the conflict in Kachin State.

On 21 March, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Burma Ashok Nigam said he was “deeply concerned” over violence in Meikhtila, Mandalay Division, and called on political and religious leaders to calm the situation and for all sides to exercise “tolerance and restraint.”

On 26 March, UN Sec-Gen’s Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide Adama Dieng urged the regime to promote reconciliation and tolerance between communities in Burma and take measures to prevent any further escalation of the violence.

On 26 March, UN Sec-Gen’s Special Advisor on Burma Vijay Nambiar said that Muslims were “clearly targeted” during the violence in Central Burma, and that attacks were carried out with “brutal efficiency.”

On 28 March, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Burma Tomás Ojea Quintana said that the regime had “not done enough” to address the spread of discrimination and prejudice against Muslim communities across the country or to tackle the “organized mobs” that incited hatred and attacked Muslim communities. He also said that he had received reports of “state-involvement in some acts of violence” in Central Burma and other instances in which regime authorities failed to intervene as atrocities were being committed.

 
HRC, 22th session, 6 March 2013, A/HRC/22/58
UNGA, 68th session, 19 August 2013, A/68/331
UNGA, 68th session, 23 September 2013, A/68/397