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Advisory Commission on Rakhine State holds inaugural meeting in Yangon

Yangon, 5 September 2016: In the presence of the State Counselor of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi, and the Commission’s chair and chair of the Kofi Annan Foundation, Kofi Annan, the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State holds its inaugural session in Yangon today.

On Tuesday 6 September, the Commission will travel to Sittwe, Rakhine State, to meet with the authorities and representatives of various communities. The Commission’s chair will meet the President of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, Htin Kyaw and the Commander-in-Chief, Min Aung Hlaing in Naypyidaw on the morning of Thursday 8 September.

“We hope that the Commission will help us heal wounds,” Aung San Suu Kyi said. “We want this to be a country that ensures rights for all its people. We look to the Commission to point a way forward. Let me add that there should be no concerns surrounding Myanmar’s sovereignty which firmly remains in the hands of the people.”

“We look forward to listening and engaging with a wide range of interlocutors in Rakhine state as well as at the national level in order to develop proposals that take full account of the concerns and hopes of the people of the State,” Kofi Annan said.

The Advisory Commission will submit and discuss its findings and recommendations to the Government of Myanmar through the State Counselor and thereafter publish its report, in the second half of 2017.

About the commission:

The Advisory Commission’s mandate is to provide recommendations to the Government of Myanmar on measures for finding lasting solutions to the complex and delicate issues in the Rakhine State, in accordance with established international standards.

The Commission’s members are:

• Kofi Annan (Chair), Chair of the Kofi Annan Foundation, Secretary General of the United Nations (1997 – 2006), Nobel Peace Laureate (2001)

• U Win Mra, Chair of the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission

• Dr Thar Hla Shwe, President of the Myanmar Red Cross Society

• Ghassan Salamé, Lebanese Minister of Culture (2000-2003), UN Special Advisor to Secretary General (2003-2006)

• Laetitia van den Assum, Special Advisor to the UNAIDS (2005-2006), the Netherlands’ Ambassador to the United Kingdom (2012-2015)

• U Aye Lwin, Core Member and Founder of Religions for Peace, Myanmar

• Dr Mya Thida, President of Obstetrical and Gynecological Society of Myanmar Medical Association, Member of the Myanmar Academy of Medical Science

• U Khin Maung Lay, Member of the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission

• Daw Saw Khin Tint, Chairperson (Rakhine Literature and Culture Association, Yangon) and Vice-Chairperson (Rakhine Women Association)

The Commission will establish a small secretariat in Yangon. More information will be available shortly with the launch of the Commission’s website.