UN will seek to unite world, reverse Myanmar coup: Chief


Antonio Guterres

United Nations: Secretary-General Antonio Guterres pledged Friday that the United Nations will do everything it can to unite the international community and create conditions for the military coup in Myanmar to be reversed.

The UN chief told a news conference it is absolutely essential to carry out the Security Council’s calls for a return to democracy, respect for the results of the November parliamentary elections, and release of all people detained by the military, which means the reversal of the coup that took place.

It is absolutely essential that that moves forward, and for that, I believe, we need to have all possible areas of pressure to make it happen, Guterres said.

Myanmar’s military announced Monday on the eve of the meeting of new Parliament that it will take power for one year, accusing leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s government of not investigating allegations of voter fraud in the November elections, where its party did poorly.

It detained Suu Kyi, whose party swept that vote, and other lawmakers, activists, journalists and members of civil society. The election commission had refuted the military’s allegations.

In its first statement following the military’s takeover on Thursday, the Security Council stressed the need to uphold democratic institutions and processes, refrain from violence, and fully respect human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law.

It also emphasized the need for the continued support of the democratic transition in Myanmar.

Guterres said Christine Schraner Burgener, the UN special envoy for Myanmar, had a first contact Friday with the military since the coup and expressed the UN’s strong opposition to the takeover.