Human Rights Council: 43rd Regular Session

Salle XX, Palais des Nations

09 March 2020

Agenda Item 4: Discussion on SG Update on UN Involvement in Myanmar


Speaking time: 1 min. 30 sec.

Thank you, Madam President.

The Philippines thanks the Assistant Secretary-General for his presentation.

The recognition of systematic and structural shortcomings in the UN’s presence in Myanmar and the intricate dynamics of UN country-level interactions provide useful lessons towards a more coherent and responsive engagement.

The report presented how the dichotomy between quiet diplomacy and outspoken advocacy had divided the UN country team and resulted in mixed and incomplete signals from the field based on competing and even conflicting appreciation of ground developments.

In this regard, the Philippines highlights the need for UN engagement in Myanmar to be pursued in a coherent, balanced, principled, constructive, and results-oriented manner. The recent UN development system reform offers potential for fostering trans-pillar coordination through the Resident Coordinator.

The report was instructive not only on the way forward on Myanmar but on strengthening work at the country level in general. We are pleased to note that the UN Sec-gen’s guidance reflect a careful balancing act where principled engagement and outspoken advocacy complement instead of compete. We believe that this kind of cohesive and constructive approach in UN’s work is essential in navigating complex political environments and in effectively responding to realities and challenges on the ground.

Thank you, Madam President. END.