Permanent Representative of Myanmar to the United Nations, ambassador U Kyaw Moe Tun, attended the general discussion of the “Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing” (13th) meeting.
In the discussion, regarding the issue of Myanmar, he said that there is an immediate need for the international community to pay special attention to the challenges faced by the elderly, and to provide effective measures and assistance.
1. The 13th meeting of the “Open-Ended Working Group on Aging” is being held from 3-4-2023 to 6-4-2024 at the United Nations headquarters based in New York City.
The meeting was attended by not only UN member states, but also fifteen (A) level National Human Rights Institutions-NHRIs and seventeen non-governmental organizations. In addition, a general discussion program titled "Measures to enhance the promotion and protection of the human rights and dignity of older persons" was held on 3-4-2023 (Monday) where the Permanent Representative of Myanmar to the United Nations, ambassador U Kyaw Moe Tun, attended and gave a speech.
2. The following key points were included in the speech delivered by the Permanent Representative of Myanmar:
(a) The Working Group welcomed the continued discussion of activities that can protect and promote the human rights and dignity of the elderly in accordance with United Nations General Assembly Resolution 77/190.
(b) Thanks to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights for preparing a document that will be a basic need for discussion at the meeting. The document is viewed as a supporting document that will guide the discussions of the working group. Special thanks to NGOs, UN agencies, United Nations members, IGO and NHRI for providing extensive and in-depth information on the three areas of access to health and health services and social participation and long-term development and economic security.
(c) The modern world is facing many challenges; These challenges affect people all over the world including women and children, Young people and the elderly are often on the front lines facing most of the dangers that their rights are significantly diluted and largely ignored. Today, discrimination against the elderly has reached a critical state. Governments should use the mechanisms and programs they already have in place to support the elderly in various sectors, especially in the health and financial sectors in which they must be involved.
(d) According to data collected by UNFPA five years ago, the elderly population in Myanmar will triple in the next thirty years and is expected to increase further. Therefore, social services that will benefit the elderly should be emphasized with safeguarding mechanisms and policies. Myanmar has also made significant improvements based on such recommendations.
(e) These improvements include the increase in retirement pension, opening nursing homes, administering community-based care programs and providing training to those who will take care of the elderly; including increased access to health care and housing subsidies.
(f) However, these developments are expected from the military in 2021. After the illegal dictatorship by the military in February, the increase was reduced. Especially when the Myanmar military has been committing brutal acts against innocent people, such as mindless aerial bombardment and the burning of houses. The elderly are mostly the ones who suffer the most in these violent acts. Many elderly people have been displaced by the military's actions. Humanitarian aid is needed now.
(g) The National Unity Government and ethnic revolutionary organizations are working together with civil society organizations and non-governmental organizations to find a comprehensive solution in order to supplement the necessary support and help to ensure that their rights are respected and protected.
(h) However, challenges remain and are rising. Therefore, as the international community, regarding the issue of Myanmar, there is an urgent need now to focus on the challenges faced by the elderly, and to provide effective action and assistance.