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Special Envoy Myanmar

Established: April 2018
Secretary-General António Guterres (right) meets with Christine Schraner Burgener, his Special Envoy on Myanmar.
Secretary-General António Guterres meets with Christine Schraner Burgener, Special Envoy on Myanmar. UN Photo/Manuel Elias

With the coming into effect of the 2008 constitution, and the opening by the country of its doors to democratic reforms, the role of the Secretary-General’s good offices began to evolve from its earlier one of critiquing the unrepresentative military regime into one of engagement, encouragement and support for reform, reconciliation and democratization. Even though the democratization process remains a work-in-progress, much credit is due to the people of Myanmar for their achievements thus far and to the administration of President Thein Sein, who ushered in the reform process with the election of a civilian government after the 2010 general election.

 

The landmark elections of November 2015 has transformed Myanmar's political landscape by bringing Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy Party into power. As the new government, which assumed power in April 2016, embarks on a process of national reconstruction as well as a revived national political dialogue process with various ethnic armed groups and others to unify the country, it faces major challenges in confronting entrenched attitudes, especially in Rakhine state. The exodus of some 700,000 refugees fleeing Rakhine state from the latest wave of violence in that region since August 2017 accentuated the urgency for holistic solutions to address the complex root causes. Cooperation with the United Nations and its partners will be critical as the Government of Myanmar carries out its responsibility to provide immediate, life-saving humanitarian assistance to all those in need in Rakhine state, and put in place long-term development and human rights solutions. The Secretary-General has repeatedly underlined his call to address the underlying issues and for an end to violence, unfettered humanitarian access to all areas in Rakhine State, the creation of conducive environment for safe, dignified and voluntary returns and the implementation of the recommendations of the Rakhine Advisory Commission, particularly on the protection of human rights, closure of IDP camps, freedom of movement, access to services and justice, and to the question of citizenship.

 

It is widely recognized that the momentous political and socio-economic changes taking place in the country can be consolidated only if it is based on the foundations of inclusiveness, tolerance and respect of human rights for all, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or gender, where no one is marginalized, discriminated against or left behind. The Secretary-General will continue to make his good offices available to Myanmar as it moves strenuously ahead to make the peace process more inclusive, improve the lives of its peoples and secure greater empowerment to them. On 26 April 2018, the Secretary-General announced the appointment of Christine Schraner Burgener of Switzerland as his new Special Envoy on Myanmar. ​

 

Leadership

Special Envoy: Christine Schraner Burgener

 

Staffing

National: 1

International: 4

Total: 5