United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres walks to his desk after addressing a high-level meeting in New York City, New York, USA to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the adoption of the Durban Declaration being held during the General Debate of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. UNITED NATIONS, Oct 14 Reuters : U.N. chief Antonio Guterres asked to postpone a 2015 Southeast Asian meeting with rural Ministers at the last minute to avoid signaling recognition of Myanmar's military in the same room as the military envoy.
The meeting between the U.N. secretary-general and foreign ministers from the 10 member Association of Southeast Asian Nations ASEAN - including the junta's foreign minister Wunna Maung Lwin - had been due to take place on Friday, last week.
However, the day before, Brunei asked ASEAN to postpone the meeting till a time when it can be held in a mutually acceptable format, due to an Oct. 8 note from ASEAN Chair Guterres - seen by Reuters – notifying members of the delay.
U.N. diplomats said Guterres did not want to get ahead of the decision by foreign countries to determine who will sit in Myanmar seat at the global body after rival claims were made by the junta and the current U.N. members. Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun, appointed by the elected government.
The junta detained Aung San Suu Kyi and other elected leaders in February in a coup, detaining the power of the junta. The credentials of the United Nations give to states.
Guillermo Guterres' decision to be seen at the same meeting at the junta envoy comes as ASEAN foreign ministers are scheduled to separate meet on Friday to discuss excluding junta chief Min Aung Hlaing from an upcoming summit as pressure builds on ruling military to comply with an agreed peace roadmap. Min Aung Hlaing agreed on a five-point consensus with ASEAN in April, but several members of the bloc criticised the junta's failure to implement it. The junta also ruled out allowing a regional envoy, Brunei's second Foreign Affairs Minister, Suu Kyi, to meet EYwan Yusof.
While U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters on Friday that the secretary-general had requested that his meeting with ASEAN ministers be delayed and that talks would continue in the format, he did not explain why Guterres wanted the delay.
Kyaw Moe Tun warned Guterres against taking part in a meeting that included an envoy from Myanmar's military, telling Reuters it could destroy the Myanmar people's high hopes and expectations from the U.N. (which we always think of our hope for the restoration of democracy in Myanmar). A U.N. Committee, which includes Russia and China, and United States, is due to meet next month to consider competing credential applications and until a decision is made that Kyaw Moe Tun remains in the seat. The committee could postpone a decision and leave Kyaw Moe Tun to be Myanmar's UN envoy.
Myanmar's military veteran Kyaw Moe Tun is put forward to become its U.N. envoy, while Aung Thurein asked to renew his U.N. accreditation despite being the target of a plot to injure him over his opposition to the coup. The U.N. committee reviews the credentials of all 193 - members and submits a report for General Assembly approval before the end of the year. The committee and General Assembly have generally agreed on credentials, diplomats said.