Myanmar did not make a request to speak, UNGA president Abdulla Shahid clarifies to WION

Written By: Palki Sharma WION Web Team
New York Published: Sep 28, 2021, 07:17 PM(IST)

The president of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Abdulla Shahid Photograph:( WION )

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There were reports that China, Russia and the United States had reached an understanding to prevent Myanmar's ambassador to UN Kyaw Moe Tun from addressing the general assembly

Abdulla Shahid, the president of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly, on Tuesday clarified to WION that Myanmar did not speak at the assembly hall because it failed to make a request as per the protocols.

Speaking exclusively to WION’s Executive Editor Palki Sharma Upadhyay, he sought to put to rest speculation that the country now under a military junta was not allowed to speak at the behest of US, China and Russia.

Shahid said a committee will meet in November to decide whether Myanmar’s current UN Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun will be allowed to retain his seat.

“No country has decided that Myanmar will not speak. We have a lot of procedures here which are being followed. There is a committee on credentials who are meeting in November and their report will be adopted by the general assembly. So, it is up to the membership of the UN to decide on these things,” Shahid said.

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When pointed out that Myanmar’s current UN Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun – appointed by Aung San Suu Kyi’s elected government— was not allowed to address the assembly, Shahid said, “I am not aware of it. As the president of UNGA, I am not aware of anyone not allowing it. I am the person who either allows or doesn’t allow.”

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When the president was asked if the Myanmar representative make a request to address the UNGA, Shahid said, “There was no request from the Myanmar delegation to speak."

"I just completed the general debate at the assembly hall and the list of speakers was exhausted. Meaning: Everyone who requested to speak were given the floor, in which 194 delegations spoke," he said, pointing out that Myanmar was the only one who did not make a request to speak.

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There were reports that China, Russia and the United States had reached an understanding to prevent Kyaw Moe Tun from addressing the general assembly.

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Kyaw Moe Tun is supported by the international community and has retained his seat at the United Nations following the February 1 military coup.

In May, the junta had appointed a former general to replace him, but the United Nations has not yet approved the appointment.

UN accreditation issues are dealt with by a nine-member committee, whose members include the US, China and Russia. It traditionally meets in October or November.

Myanmar has been in turmoil since Aung San Suu Kyi’s government was overthrown by the military in February, sparking a nationwide uprising that the military has tried to crush.

(With inputs from agencies)

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