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UN receives conflicting letters concerning Myanmar's UN envoy


UNITED NATIONS - UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has received two letters that conflict with each other concerning the position of Myanmar's permanent representative to the United Nations, said his spokesman on Tuesday.

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"I can confirm that we've received two letters. They're currently under review," said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for Guterres.

"We did receive a letter yesterday (Monday) from Kyaw Moe Tun, the permanent representative of Myanmar, which was addressed to the president of the General Assembly with copy to the Secretary-General's Office, informing that he remains Myanmar's permanent representative to the United Nations," Dujarric told a daily press briefing.

"We've also received a note verbale from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Myanmar this (Tuesday) morning, which was addressed to the Secretary-General's Office, informing that the State Administration Council of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar has terminated the duties and responsibilities of Mr. Kyaw Moe Tun as permanent representative of Myanmar and that Mr. U Tin Maung Naing, deputy permanent representative, has been assigned as the charge d'affaires ad interim of the Permanent Mission."

Kyaw Moe Tun, who spoke at a UN General Assembly meeting on Friday against the Myanmar military's detention of the country's political leaders, was fired by the military authorities the next day. 

The rival claims to represent Myanmar will now likely have to be considered by a nine-member UN credentials committee that reports to the General Assembly, which will then make the final decision.

‘Intense discussions’

According to the General Assembly rules of procedure, credentials must be issued by either a head of state or government or a foreign minister. The communication sent to Guterres’ office on Tuesday was on Myanmar Foreign Ministry letterhead, but as a note verbale it was unsigned.

Kyaw Moe Tun noted in his letter that President Win Myint and Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi appointed him last year and they remain lawfully elected to their roles.

Dujarric said the United Nations has not received any official notification of any change to Myanmar’s government since the Feb 1 military action.

The United Nations has previously had to address competing claims for representation at the world body.

In September 2011, the General Assembly approved a Libyan request to accredit envoys of the country’s interim government. The move came after the United States, Russia, China and European nations had all recognized the new authorities.

The 15-member UN Security Council is due to discuss Myanmar in a closed meeting later this week, diplomats said.

With Reuters inputs

Published : March 04, 2021

By : China Daily/ANN