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Myanmar will not address world leaders at UN, Afghanistan will

Reuters/United Nations
Filed on September 25, 2021
Reuters

China, Russia and the United States have reached an understanding, say diplomats

No representative from Myanmar is scheduled to address the annual high-level UN General Assembly, a UN spokesman said on Friday, amid rival claims for the country’s UN seat in New York after the military ousted the elected government.

Competing claims have also been made on Afghanistan’s UN seat after the Taliban seized power last month. The ambassador for the ousted government is set to give his speech on Monday.

“At this point, Myanmar is not speaking,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

Myanmar’s current UN Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun - appointed by Aung San Suu Kyi’s elected government - had initially been expected to address the 193-member General Assembly on Monday, the final day of the gathering.

But diplomats said China, Russia and the United States had reached an understanding, where Moscow and Beijing will not object to Kyaw Moe Tun remaining in Myanmar’s UN seat for the moment as long as he does not speak during the high-level meeting.

“I withdrew from the speaker list, and will not speak at this general debate,” Kyaw Moe Tun told Reuters, adding that he was aware of the understanding between some members of the UN credentials committee, which includes Russia, China and the United States.

Myanmar’s junta has put forward military veteran Aung Thurein to be its UN envoy, while Kyaw Moe Tun has asked to renew his UN accreditation, despite being the target of a plot to kill or injure him over his opposition to the February takeover.

Dujarric said that “for now, the Afghanistan representative inscribed on the list for Monday is Mr Ghulam M. Isaczai.” Isaczai is the current UN ambassador who represents Afghanistan’s government ousted by the Taliban.

Taliban Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi on Monday asked to address the gathering of world leaders at the United Nations and nominated the group’s Doha-based spokesman Suhail Shaheen as Afghanistan’s UN ambassador.

UN accreditation issues are dealt with by a nine-member committee, whose members include the United States, China and Russia. It traditionally meets in October or November so a decision would not be made in time that would allow Muttaqi to address the high-level General Assembly meeting this year.

Until a decision is made by the credentials committee on both Afghanistan and Myanmar, Isaczai and Kyaw Moe Tun will remain in the seats, according to the General Assembly rules.





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