| 20 May 2024, Monday |

Myanmar will not address world leaders at U.N., Afghanistan will

A U.N. spokesperson said on Friday that no delegate from Myanmar will speak at the annual high-level United Nations General Assembly, amid competing claims for the country’s U.N. seat in New York after a military coup deposed the elected government.

Following the Taliban’s takeover of power last month, competing claims have been made on Afghanistan’s United Nations seat. On Monday, the deposed government’s ambassador will deliver his address.

“At this time, Myanmar is not commenting,” said Stephane Dujarric, a spokesperson for the United Nations.

Myanmar’s current United Nations Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun, who was nominated by Aung San Suu Kyi’s elected administration, was scheduled to speak before the 193-member General Assembly on Monday, the penultimate day of the meeting.

However, officials claimed China, Russia, and the US had achieved an agreement in which Moscow and Beijing will not object to Kyaw Moe Tun remaining in Myanmar’s United Nations seat for the time being as long as he does not speak at the high-level conference.

“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 U.N. credentials committee, which includes Russia, China and the United States.

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

Dujarric said that “for now, the Afghanistan representative inscribed on the list for Monday is Mr. Ghulam M. Isaczai.” Isaczai is the current U.N. 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 Islamist group’s Doha-based spokesman Suhail Shaheen as Afghanistan’s U.N. ambassador.

U.N. 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.

  • Reuters