By Matthew Russell Lee
UNITED NATIONS, September 28 — There were two narratives as well as two names, Myanmar and Burma, at work at the UN this week. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation held a special meeting about the abuse of the Muslim Rohingya; Iraq’s vice president called it “genocide.”
Meanwhile when UN envoy Vijay Nambiar emerged from the Friends on Myanmar meeting past 6 pm on Friday, he described an upbeat meeting, and even mused that either Myanmar should be invited into the group or the group be disbanded if the UN’s Third Committee does not again pass a resolution this year.
Inner City Press asked Nambiar about the Rohingya, and whether Ban and he thought Myanmar should stop denying them citizenship and leaving them stateless.
Nambiar gave a detailed answer, that the issue had been raised inside the meeting — he pointed out that at least one member said that the government is not behind the attacks. (Graphic reports like this one call that into question.)
Even as Nambiar answered on Rohingya, in the General Assembly the foreign minister of the UAE made calls on the government of Myanmar on the topic. This minister met with Ban Ki-moon last Friday – was the Rohingya issue raised?
Of the Kachin, when Inner City Press asked Nambiar of the open letter to Ban from the Kachin National Organization, he acknowledged it and said Ban’s opening statement had noted that the talks in Kachin have stalled. He talked about cease fires and military pullbacks — concepts also deployed, but differently, in Syria.
One wonders, if the Third Committee does not pass a resolution, if this UN “Good Offices” on Myanmar office will continue. At the Indian Mission to the UN this week, there were photographs of that country’s Ambassadors, and UN officials. Nambiar is the senior Indian official in the UN system. If the mandate ends, what next? Watch this site.