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Myanmar will hold general elections in late 2020. The elections would be an opportunity to consolidate electoral democracy in Myanmar, and an important step towards long-term peace and stability in the country.
The Myanmar authorities have a great responsibility in preparing and carrying out the elections. Norway is one of the countries assisting the UEC (Union Election Committee) in their preparations, through capacity building and other measures. It is important to safeguard free and democratic elections in Myanmar.
This month, the UN General Assembly will mark the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Norway will continue its work to mobilize support for children’s rights. We commend Myanmar for the recent approval of its new Child Rights Law. We also look forward to Myanmar’s ratification of OPAC (the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict), thus making this important protocol legally binding in Myanmar.
Norway has for many years supported the peace process in Myanmar. We encourage the Myanmar military to continue extending the unilateral ceasefire - in both time and space – and to include the Rakhine State.
Norway is deeply worried about the increasing conflicts in Rakhine and the situation for Rohingya refugees. We strongly encourage Myanmar and Bangladesh to seek a mutually acceptable solution to ensure a safe, voluntary and dignified return of all refugees without further delays.
The limited international humanitarian access to the IDPs in Rakhine is also a major concern. We would highly appreciate to hear from Myanmar what initiatives the government is taking to improve the conditions for the IDPs in Rakhine and repatriate the refugees in Bangladesh.