Open Letter in Support of Continuing Recognition of Ambassador U Kyaw Moe Tun as Myanmar’s Permanent Representative at the UN General Assembly

    To Permanent Representatives of Member States of the UN General Assembly

    10 September 2021

    Open Letter in Support of Continuing Recognition of Ambassador U Kyaw Moe Tun as Myanmar’s Permanent Representative at the UN General Assembly


    We, the undersigned, representing a broad movement of 358 Myanmar and international civil society organizations, urge you to ensure that the current Permanent Representative (PR) of Myanmar to the United Nations (UN), Ambassador U Kyaw Moe Tun, retains his position as Myanmar’s representative to the UN for the upcoming 76th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA), scheduled to begin on 14 September 2021.

    Ambassador U Kyaw Moe Tun is the incumbent representative of Myanmar and he represented Myanmar throughout the 75th session of the UNGA after his credentials were accepted by the Credentials Committee in November 2020 and approved by the UNGA on 1 December (A/RES/75/19). He was appointed as Myanmar’s PR to the UN by the democratically elected government of Myanmar, which had held office since 2016. His credentials were renewed by the current duly elected government of Myanmar.

    The new government, which won in a free, fair and credible general election in November 2020, was due to be formed in February 2021 and take office in March. The general election, which was observed by accredited international election monitoring bodies including the Asian Network for Free Elections and the Carter Center, certified that the election reflected the will of the people of Myanmar. However, on 1 February 2021, the Myanmar military launched a coup, physically prevented the scheduled session of the new parliament and forcibly detained elected members of Parliaments.

    Since then, massive and broad anti-coup protests have continued throughout the country. The junta’s attempt to take control of Myanmar by force have been resisted by these ongoing protests, boycotts, strikes and coordinated civil disobedience movements by civil servants, private sector employees and civilians. Over 400,000 civil servants have been on strike against the junta since February. Ethnic armed organizations (EAOs), who have also opposed the coup, continue to exercise control over extensive territories in Myanmar’s borderlands.

    In its effort to assert control, the military has killed, arbitrarily detained, raped, tortured, and looted homes and villages. Since February, the junta has killed 1,058 people, including at least 75 children and arrested 7,992. The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar has stated that these heinous tactics designed to instill terror in the population amount to crimes under international law, including crimes against humanity. Despite the junta’s brutal campaign of terror and repression, the people continue to resist, and the coup has totally failed.

    On 26 February, Ambassador U Kyaw Moe Tun, during an informal meeting of the UNGA, unequivocally denounced the 1 February attempted military coup calling on states not to recognize or legitimize the military junta. Since then, he has continued to represent Myanmar on behalf of the National Unity Government (NUG) formed on 16 April 2021 by elected members of parliament, representatives of various ethnic groups and civil society leaders. The NUG has established its cabinet with respective ministries and continues to provide valuable services to the people of Myanmar, including in handling the COVID-19 crisis and overseeing the provision of humanitarian aid.

    In June, the UNGA in its resolution on Myanmar (A/RES/75/287) condemned in the strongest terms “the excessive and lethal violence by the Myanmar armed forces since 1 February 2021.” It further called on the military to “respect the will of the people as freely expressed by the results of the general election of 8 November 2020,” and restore democracy under a fully inclusive civilian government that is representative of the will of the people of Myanmar. The resolution also expressed concern “at the persistent impunity for crimes committed by the Myanmar armed forces,” as the ongoing conflicts in ethnic areas, including in Kachin, Karen, Karenni, Rakhine, Shan and southern Chin states between EAOs and the Myanmar military have intensified since the coup, displacing over 230,000 people.

    Such a political expression of condemnation of the coup by UN Member States is significant. Over the past three decades, only three other UNGA resolutions have condemned a military coup: Haiti (1991), Burundi (1993), and Honduras (2009). The resolution passed with overwhelming support with 119 members in favor to 1 against (Belarus) and 36 abstentions. Ambassador U Kyaw Moe Tun as the representative, Myanmar voted in favor of the resolution. Since the attempted coup, the Ambassador has provided a crucial voice at the UN for Myanmar’s democratically-elected government and people.

    Notably, the presidential statement by the UN Security Council on 10 March 2021 also expressed deep concern regarding the situation in Myanmar and referred to those members of parliament arbitrarily detained by the junta as the “members of the Government.” These statements by the UNGA and the Security Council are a clear denunciation by the international community that the actions taken by the junta are contrary to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter.

    Therefore, we urge the Credentials Committee to recommend for the UNGA to accept the credentials of Ambassador U Kyaw Moe Tun for the 76th session of the UNGA and ensure he retains his seat as the representative of Myanmar. Ambassador U Kyaw Moe Tun is the appointee of the representatives of Myanmar, duly elected by the people. A recommendation that his credentials be accepted would be to respect the will of the people of Myanmar, expressed overwhelmingly during recent elections, and be consistent with the June 2021 UNGA resolution on Myanmar and statements by the Security Council.[1]

    We also urge the Credentials Committee to outrightly dismiss the proposed credentials of the representative of the illegitimate military junta. The military junta has no democratic legitimacy: it is unable to establish government functions, it does not have effective control over the territory of Myanmar, and it is a persistent perpetrator of international crimes. Any support for a junta-backed representative, would constitute a repudiation of the June 2021 UNGA resolution and principles of equality, human rights and fundamental freedoms set out in the UN Charter and will only further embolden the military that has terrorized the country since its attempted coup.

    Lastly, we would also like to address the possibility of Myanmar’s seat at the UNGA being left vacant with a deferral of the decision on accrediting a representative of Myanmar, or any other deal that would silence Ambassador U Kyaw Moe Tun. Myanmar’s participation in the UNGA is part of “important rights and privileges of membership.” Leaving an empty seat at the UN, or silencing the Ambassador, would mean that this right would be suspended due to the decision of the credentials process and would be contrary to the Purposes and Principles as set out in Article 1 and 2 of the Charter. In addition, it would dismiss the overwhelming outcome of Myanmar’s democratic elections that were held in 2020, and would lend weight to the junta’s violent and unlawful attempt to seize power.

    We therefore urge members of the UNGA to retain Ambassador U Kyaw Moe Tun’s accreditation as the Permanent Representative of Myanmar and call on your support in this matter.

    We hope for a favorable response to this appeal. Please accept assurances of our highest consideration.

    [1] As stated in UNGA resolution (A/RES/396) when there is a disputed claim to the government entitled to represent a Member State in the UN, the question “should be considered in light of the Purposes and Principles of the Charter.” For the reasons we have stated in this open letter, it is imperative that UNGA retains the Ambassador’s accreditation as the PR of Myanmar as it will ensure that human rights and fundamental freedoms prevail in Myanmar​​, in clear affirmation of the UN’s own principles and Charter.

    To read the open letter on Progressive Voice’s website, click here.

    Organisation/s Involved

    Signed by:
    1. 8888 Generation (New Zealand)
    2. Action Committee for Democracy Development
    3. Activists group for Human Rights ‘BARAM’
    4. Advocates for Public Interest Law
    5. Airavati Organisation
    6. Akbayan Citizens’ Action Party, Philippines
    7. All Arakan Students and Youths Congress
    8. Alternative Solutions for Rural Communities (ASORCOM)
    9. ALTSEAN-Burma
    10. America Rohingya Justice Network
    11. American Baptist Churches USA
    12. Ananda Data
    13. Anti Dictatorship in Burma-DC Metropolitan Area
    14. Arakan Institute for Peace and Development
    15. Arakan Rohingya Union
    16. ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights
    17. ASEAN SOGIE Caucus
    18. Asia Center
    19. Asia Justice and Rights (AJAR)
    20. Asia Pacific Solidarity Coalition (APSOC)
    21. Asian Companions Against Brutality
    22. Asian Dignity Initiative
    23. Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)
    24. Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP)
    25. Association for Human Rights Defenders and Promoters (HRDP)
    26. Association of Women for Awareness & Motivation (AWAM)
    27. Athan – Freedom of Expression Activist Organization
    28. Auckland Kachin Community Inc.
    29. Auckland Zomi Community
    30. Aung Lan Phyu
    31. Australia Karen Organisation
    32. Backpack Health Workers Team
    33. Balaod Mindanaw
    34. Baptist World Alliance
    35. Better World
    36. Boat People SOS
    37. BOOM Womyn
    38. Boston Free Burma
    39. Bucheon St. Mary’s Hospital Branch of KHMU
    40. Buddhist Ecological Contents Institute
    41. Buddhist Solidarity for Reform
    42. Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP -Solidarity of Filipino Workers), Philippines
    43. Burma Action Ireland
    44. Burma Campaign UK
    45. Burma Human Rights Network
    46. Burma Medical Association
    47. Burma Monitor (Research and Monitoring)
    48. Burma Task Force
    49. Burmese American Millennials
    50. Burmese Democratic Forces
    51. Burmese Muslim Association
    52. Burmese Women’s Union
    53. Bytes for All
    54. Calgary Karen Community Association (CKCA)
    55. Campaign for a New Myanmar
    56. Carmelite Missionary
    57. Center for Freedom of Information
    58. Center for Military Human Rights Korea
    59. Center for Social Science and Sustainable Development, Chaing Mai University
    60. Center for Youth Advocacy and Networking (CYAN) – Philippines
    61. Central European Institute of Asian Studies
    62. CHANGJAK21
    63. Chin Community of Auckland
    64. Chin Community of USA-DC Area
    65. Chin Family Group
    66. Chin Leaders of Tomorrow (CLT)
    67. Christian Freedom International
    68. Christian Solidarity Worldwide
    69. Citizens Life & Environment Conference
    70. Civil Rights Defenders (CRD)
    71. Civil Society Forum for Peace (CSFoP)
    72. Climate Change Working Group
    73. CMCMC
    74. Coalition to Abolish Modern-day Slavery in Asia (CAMSA)
    75. Colors Rainbow
    76. Commission on JPIC, Korea Province, Society of Jesus
    77. Committee of Justice, Peace and Ecology of the Catholic Religious Men in Korea
    78. Community Organizations Network for Education & Training
    79. Community Resource Center (CRC)
    80. Community Resource Centre
    81. Critic CCC
    82. Cross Cultural Foundation (CrCF), Thailand
    83. CRPH/NUG Supporters (Austria)
    84. DEEKU, the Karenni Community
    85. Democracy for Ethnic Minorities Organization
    86. Democracy for Myanmar – Working Group (NZ)
    87. Democracy, Peace and Women’s Organization – DPW
    88. Edmonton Karen Community Youth Organization
    89. ETOs Watch Coalition
    90. European Karen Network (EKN)
    91. Federal Myanmar Benevolence Group (NZ)
    92. Finland Karen Culture Association
    93. Food Security Working Group
    94. Fortify Rights
    95. ForumCiv
    96. Free Burma Action Bay/ USA/ Global
    97. Free Burma Campaign (South Africa)
    98. Free Myanmar Campaign USA
    99. Freedom and Labor Action Group
    100. Freedom, Justice, Equality for Myanmar
    101. Friends Against Dictatorship (FAD)
    102. Future Light Center
    103. Future Thanlwin
    104. Ganghwa People’s Network (GHPN)
    105. Generation Wave
    106. German Solidarity with Myanmar Democracy
    107. Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
    108. Global Justice Center
    109. Global Movement for Myanmar Democracy (GM4MD)
    110. Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict-Southeast Asia (GPPAC-SEA)
    111. Globe International Center
    112. Green Party Korea
    113. Green Peasant Institute
    114. Greendoor
    115. GZO Peace Institute – Philippines
    116. Hakha Thar Nubu
    117. Happy Class Meditation Community
    118. Human & Welfare Books
    119. Human Rights and Development Foundation (HRDF), Thailand
    120. Human Rights Foundation of Monland
    121. Hyungmyung Foundation
    122. HyunJang Academy
    123. In Defense of Human Rights and Dignity Movement (iDEFEND)
    125. Incheon Regional Office of KHMU
    126. Incorporated Organization Shilcheon Bulgyo
    127. Info Birmanie
    128. Initiatives for International Dialogue
    129. Institute for Asian Democracy
    130. Institute of Korean Feminist Integral Studies for Faith
    131. Inter Pares
    132. International Campaign for the Rohingya
    133. International Christian Concern
    134. International Federation for Hurman Rights (FIDH)
    135. International Migrants Cultural Institute
    136. International Network of Engaged Buddhists (INEB)
    137. Inter-religious Climate and Ecology Network
    138. Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights
    139. JASS Southeast Asia
    140. Jeju Peace Human Rights Institute WHAT
    141. Jesuit Research Center for Advocacy and Solidarity
    142. Jesusalgi
    143. Joint Countermeasures Committee for Freedom of Expression and Press Repression
    144. JPIC Commission in The Association of Major Superiors of Women Religious in KOREA
    145. JPIC-Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill
    146. Justice for All
    147. Kachin Alliance
    148. Kachin National Organization USA
    149. Kachin Peace Network (KPN)
    150. Kachin Refugee Committee (KRC)
    151. Kachin State Women Network (KSWN)
    152. Kachin Women’s Association Thailand
    153. Kansas Karenni Community
    154. Karapatan Alliance Philippines
    155. Karen American Association of Wisconsin
    156. Karen Association of Huron, South Dakota
    157. Karen Community Association UK
    158. Karen Community in Norway (KCN)
    159. Karen Community of Canada (KCC)
    160. Karen Community of Czech Republic
    161. Karen Community of Finland
    162. Karen Community of Hamilton
    163. Karen Community of Iowa
    164. Karen Community of Ireland
    165. Karen Community of Israel
    166. Karen Community of Kansas City (KS & MO)
    167. Karen Community of Kitchener & Waterloo
    168. Karen Community of Leamington
    169. Karen Community of Lethbridge
    170. Karen Community of London
    171. Karen Community of Minnesota
    172. Karen Community of Ottawa
    173. Karen Community of Regina
    174. Karen Community of Saskatoon
    175. Karen Community of Thunderbay
    176. Karen Community of Toronto
    177. Karen Community of Windsor
    178. Karen Community of Winnipeg
    179. Karen Community Society of British Columbia (KCSBC)
    180. Karen Environmental and Social Action Network
    181. Karen Human Rights Group
    182. Karen Organization of America
    183. Karen Peace Support Network
    184. Karen Rivers Watch
    185. Karen Swedish Community (KSC)
    186. Karen Thai Group
    187. Karen Women’s Organization
    188. Karen Youth Networks
    189. Karen Youth of Norway
    190. Karen Youth of Toronto
    191. Karen Youth Organization
    192. Karenni American Association (KnA)
    193. Karenni Civil Society Network
    194. Karenni Community of Bowling Green (KY)
    195. Karenni Community of Des Moines (IA)
    196. Karenni Community of Georgia
    197. Karenni Community of Indianapolis
    198. Karenni Community of Massachusetts
    199. Karenni Community of Minnesota
    200. Karenni Community of Missouri
    201. Karenni Community of New York
    202. Karenni Community of North Carolina
    203. Karenni Community of Portland, OR
    204. Karenni Community of Taxes
    205. Karenni Community of Wisconsin
    206. Karenni Human Rights Group
    207. Karenni National Women’s Organization
    208. Karenni Society New Zealand
    209. Karenni Society of Minnesota (NE)
    210. Karenni-American Catholic Association
    211. Kaung Rwai
    212. Kayaw Women Association
    213. Keng Tung Youth
    214. KijamiiTable
    215. Korea Democracy Foundation
    216. Korea Institute for Religious Freedom
    217. Korea Karen Organization
    218. Korea Karen Youth Organization
    219. Korea Migrants Friendship Solidarity SHALOMHOUSE
    220. Korea Wetlands NGO Network (KWNN)
    221. Korean Civil Society in Solidarity with Rohingya
    222. Korean House for International Solidarity
    223. Korean Solidarity for Overseas Community Organization
    224. KPTU SEOUL
    225. Latsinu Women Agency
    226. Law and Society Trust, Sri Lanka
    227. Let’s Help Each Other
    228. Little Servants of the Holy Family (Uijeongbu Province)
    229. Los Angeles Rohingya Association
    230. Madang for Life and Peace
    231. Maldivian Democracy Network (MDN)
    232. Media Christianity
    233. Menrihei
    234. Metta Campaign Mandalay
    235. Migrants Trade Union
    236. MilkTea Alliance Philippines
    237. MINBYUN – Lawyers for a Democratic Society International Solidarity Committee
    238. Mindanao Peace Weavers (MPW), Philippines
    239. Mindanao Peacebuilding Institute Foundation, Inc.
    240. Muslim of Myanmar Multi-Ethnic Consultative Committee (MMMCC)
    241. Myanmar Accountability Project (MAP)
    242. Myanmar Action Group Denmark
    243. Myanmar Advocacy Coalition
    244. Myanmar Community Austria
    245. Myanmar Community in the Czech Republic
    246. Myanmar Cultural Research Society
    247. Myanmar Doctors For Human Rights Network
    248. Myanmar Engineers – New Zealand
    249. Myanmar Gonye (New Zealand)
    250. Myanmar Helping Citizens’ Group
    251. Myanmar Network in KOREA
    252. Myanmar People Alliance (Shan State)
    253. Myanmar Students’ Union in New Zealand
    254. National Clergy Conference For Justice and Peace
    255. Nationalities Alliance of Burma
    256. NeT Organization
    257. Network for Advocacy Action and Women Network (Tanintharyi)
    258. Network for Human Rights Documentation – Burma (ND-Burma)
    259. Never Again Coalition
    260. New Bodhisattva Network
    261. New York City Burmese Community
    262. New Zealand Doctors for NUG
    263. New Zealand Karen Association
    264. New Zealand Zo Community Inc.
    265. No Business with Genocide
    266. Nyan Lynn Thit Analytica
    268. Olive Organization
    269. Oversea Karen Organization Japan
    270. Overseas Mon Association, New Zealand
    271. Pakokku Youth Development Council (PYDC)
    272. Pa-O Women’s Union
    273. Pa-O Youth Organization
    274. Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM – Party of the Laboring Masses), Philippines
    275. Partido Manggagawa (Labor Party-Philippines)
    276. Pax Christi Institute
    277. Peace Ground
    278. Peace Women Partners, Philippines
    279. Peace-Life Forum
    280. PEN Myanmar
    281. People, not profit
    282. People’s Empowerment Foundation (PEF) – Thailand
    283. People’s Initiative for Development Alternatives (PIDA)
    284. People’s Watch
    285. People’s Action Against Dictator Chun Doo-hwan
    286. People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy (PSPD)
    287. Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA)
    288. Pinagkaisang Galaw at Lakas ng Kababaihan (PIGLAS-KABABAIHAN), Philippines
    289. Poverty Elimination and Community Education (PEACE) Foundation
    290. Progressive 3.0
    291. Progressive Voice
    292. Pyithu Gonye (New Zealand)
    293. Refugees International
    294. Rights Beyond Border (RBB)
    295. Rock Island Karen Community
    296. Rohingya Welfare Organisation New Zealand
    297. Rvwang Community Association New Zealand
    298. Saferworld
    299. Sami Chin Women Organization
    300. Save and Care Organization for Ethnic Women at Border Areas
    301. Save Myanmar (New Zealand)
    302. SEA Junction
    303. sebasa
    304. Secondary School Branch in Goyang of Korea Teachers’ Union
    305. Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa (SENTRO), Philippines
    306. Seongnam City Committee of the Youth Justice Party
    307. Seongnam YMCA
    308. Shan Community (New Zealand)
    309. Shan MATA
    310. Solidarity for Another World
    311. Southern Youth Development Organization
    312. Spirit in Education Movement (SEM)
    313. Spring Revolution Interfaith Network
    314. Steppingstone
    315. Stop the War Coalition Philippines
    316. Students for Free Burma
    317. Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)
    318. Sungmisan School Post-secondary
    319. Support the Democracy Movement in Burma
    320. Supporters Group for Migrant Workers Movement
    321. Sustainability and Participation through Education and Lifelong Learning (SPELL), Philippines
    322. Swedish Burma Committee
    323. Swedish Foundation for Human Rights
    324. Swedish Rohingya Association
    325. Synergy – Social Harmony Organization
    326. Ta’ang Legal Aid
    327. Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP)
    328. Taunggyi Youth Center
    329. Thai Allied Committee with Desegregated Burma Foundation (TACDB)
    330. Thai Volunteer Service (TVS)
    331. The April 9 Unification & Peace Foundation
    332. The Burmese American Community Institute (BACI)
    333. The Burmese Rohingya Association of North America
    334. The Burmese Rohingya Community of Georgia
    335. The Declaration of Global Citizens
    336. The Korean Council for Justice and Remembrance for the Issues of Military Sexual Slavery by Japan
    337. The Labor Union of Jogye order
    338. The May 18 Memorial Foundation
    339. The Mekong Butterfly
    340. The Sound of Hope
    341. Think Centre
    342. Thint Myat Lo Thu Myar
    343. Timor-Leste Youth and Young Journalist Peace Culture Center
    344. U.S Advocacy Coalition for Myanmar (USACM)
    345. Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA
    346. Union For Civil Liberty (UCL), Thailand
    347. Union of Karenni State Youth
    348. Unitarian Universalist Association
    349. Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC)
    350. United States Campaign for Burma
    351. Victorian Myanmar Youth (VMY)
    352. Vocation Office of Catholic Diocese of Daejeon, South Korea
    353. Women Advocacy Coalition – Myanmar
    354. Women’s League of Burma
    355. Women’s Peace Network
    356. Wonders International
    357. Youth Justice Party, Gyeonggi Province Party
    358. Youth of KimDae-jung Foundation
    359. Alliance for Free Burma Solidarity
    360. Asian Cultural Forum on Development (ACFOD)
    361. Asian Democracy Network (ADN)
    362. Campaign Committee for Human Rights (CCHR), Thailand
    363. Campaign for Popular Democracy (CPD), Thailand
    364. Dallas Karen Baptist Church
    365. DFW Karen Community
    366. International Women Partnership for Peace and Justice (IWP)
    367. Migrant Working Group (MWG)
    368. Myanmar’s Spring – Korea
    369. Peace and Culture Foundation, Thaiiand
    370. Peace and Human Rights Resource Center (PHRC), Thailand
    371. Regional Center for Social Science and Sustainable Development, Chiangmai University, Thailand
    372. SHAPPE Sea
    373. Thai Allied Committee with Desegregated Burma Foundation (TACDB),Thailand
    374. Yayasan Perlindungan Insani, Indonesia