Report Card for UN in Myanmar: All F

Report Card for UN in Myanmar: All F



BANGKOK, Thailand: Efforts in recent years by the United Nations to achieve democratic reform and end human rights abuses in Myanmar have been punctuated by frustration, false hopes and failure:



1974: Anti-regime riots erupt when the body of retired U.N. Secretary-General U Thant comes home to Myanmar for burial.

1989: Pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi detained and put under house arrest after the military’s brutal suppression of an uprising a year earlier.

1990: U.N. Commission on Human Rights names Sadako Ogata to assess the human rights situation in Myanmar. She is followed by others.

1998: Peruvian diplomat Alvara de Soto named special U.N. envoy to break the deadlock between military and democracy advocates. U.N. and World Bank propose financial incentives for change that then-Foreign Minister Win Aung calls “offering a banana to a monkey and asking it to dance.”

April 4, 2000: Malaysian diplomat Razali Ismail appointed special U.N. envoy for Myanmar.

Sept. 2000: Suu Kyi, released in 1995, placed under house arrest again.

Nov. 29, 2001: Razali say he’s “hopeful that some significant progress could be made in the near future.”

2002: Razali helps secure the release of Suu Kyi from house arrest and the regime declares “the era of confrontation is over.”

2003: Suu Kyi is put back under house arrest.

Jan. 4, 2006: Razali resigns as envoy, frustrated at being barred from entering the country for nearly two years.

May 20, 2006: Nigerian diplomat Ibrahim Gambari becomes the first foreigner to meet Suu Kyi in more than two years amid renewed talk of a “breakthrough.”

May 22, 2007: Suu Kyi’s house arrest extended.

Sept. 2007: Military brutally crushes mass street demonstrations against regime.

Sept. 29: Gambari arrives for four-day visit to Myanmar, meeting junta leaders and Suu Kyi. The regime later holds a brief meeting with Suu Kyi.

Oct. 11: U.N. Security Council, in its first formal statement on Myanmar, says it “strongly deplores” situation in country.

Nov. 2: Junta says it intends to expel top U.N. diplomat in the country.

Nov. 3: Gambari arrives in Myanmar and U.N. later expresses hope his visit will speed up “national reconciliation, the restoration of democracy and the full respect for human rights.” But Suu Kyi remains under house arrest and her dialogue with the military goes nowhere.

May 2-3, 2008: Cyclone Nargis slams into Myanmar but U.N. officials are barred from entering hardest-hit areas, have little control over distribution of their aid.

May 22: U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon arrives in Myanmar, hoping to cut through obstacles to international aid flow to survivors.

May 23: Ban says Myanmar’s junta has agreed to allow “all aid workers” into the country to help cyclone survivors.


  1. Wake up call for UNHCR

  2. What’s up UNHCR?

  3. Myanmar Refugee/Migrant pilot Project Proposal I
  4. Myanmar Refugee/Migrant pilot Project Proposal II


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: