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U.N. chief delayed ASEAN talks to avoid Myanmar junta envoy

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UNITED NATIONS, Oct 14 (Reuters) – U.N. chief Antonio Guterres requested to postpone a digital assembly with Southeast Asian ministers on the final minute to avoid signaling recognition of Myanmar’s junta by being in the identical on-line room because the navy’s envoy, U.N. diplomats mentioned.

The assembly between the U.N. secretary-general and overseas ministers from the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) – together with the junta’s overseas minister Wunna Maung Lwin – had been due to happen final Friday.

But the day earlier than, Guterres requested ASEAN to postpone the assembly “until a time when it can be held in a mutually agreeable format, in view of the ongoing urgent international and regional issues”, in accordance to an Oct. 8 observe from ASEAN chair Brunei – seen by Reuters – notifying members of the delay.

U.N. diplomats, talking on situation of anonymity, mentioned Guterres doesn’t need to get forward of a call by U.N. member states on who will sit in Myanmar’s seat on the world physique after rival claims had been made by the junta and the present U.N. Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun, appointed by the elected authorities.

The junta seized energy in a February coup, detaining Aung San Suu Kyi and different elected authorities leaders. United Nations credentials give weight to a authorities.

Guterres’ reluctance to be seen on the similar assembly on the junta envoy comes as ASEAN overseas ministers are due to individually meet on Friday to focus on excluding junta chief Min Aung Hlaing from an upcoming summit as strain builds on the ruling navy to adjust to an agreed peace roadmap. learn extra

ASEAN agreed on a five-point consensus with Min Aung Hlaing in April, however a number of members of the bloc have criticised the junta’s failure to implement it. The junta has additionally dominated out permitting a regional envoy, Brunei’s second overseas affairs minister, Erywan Yusof, to meet Suu Kyi.

While U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric instructed reporters final Friday that the secretary-general had requested that his assembly with ASEAN ministers be postponed and that talks would proceed on the format, he didn’t clarify why Guterres needed the delay.

Kyaw Moe Tun warned in opposition to Guterres participating in a gathering that included an envoy from Myanmar’s navy, telling Reuters it might “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 incorporates Russia, China and the United States, is due to meet subsequent month to take into account the competing credential functions and till a call is made Kyaw Moe Tun stays within the seat. The committee might defer a call and go away Kyaw Moe Tun as Myanmar’s envoy.

Myanmar’s junta has put ahead navy veteran Aung Thurein to be its U.N. envoy, whereas Kyaw Moe Tun requested to renew his U.N. accreditation, regardless of being the goal of a plot to kill or injure him over his opposition to the coup. learn extra

The U.N. committee considers the credentials of all 193-members and submits a report for General Assembly approval earlier than the tip of the 12 months. The committee and General Assembly often function by consensus on credentials, diplomats mentioned.

Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Mary Milliken and Daniel Wallis

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United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres walks to his desk after addressing a high-level meeting 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 in New York City, New York, US., 22 September 2021.  Justin Lane/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

Myanmar's Foreign Minister Wunna Maung Lwin arrives to address attendees during the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the U.N. Headquarters in New York, October 2, 2015. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz/File Photo

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