The Royal Norwegian Embassy in Yangon report on the first visit of Norwegian Deputy Foreign Minister Mr Bård Glad Pedersen to Myanmar on 1-4 July.
He visited Rakhine state, Nay Pyi Taw and Yangon and discussed the peace process, the Rakhine situation, energy collaboration, elections and business with relevant stakeholders in government, civil society and among the international community.
“To move forward in Rakhine, it is important that human rights are respected for all groups. Norway wants to contribute in a balanced and sustainable manner to steer the situation is a positive direction,” said the deputy foreign minister when discussing the peace process with Minister U Aung Min at the Myanmar Peace Center.
During his trip to Sittwe, he was able to visit a Muslim and a Buddhist IDP camp, meet with local authorities, representatives from different ethnic groups and local community leaders. Throughout the visit, issues like access to livelihood, the citizen verification process and mistrust between the communities were discussed.
Mr. Pedersen was glad to announce an additional 10 million NOK to efforts in Rakhine state.
A part of Norway’s humanitarian effort will go to refurbishment of Sittwe Hospital. This is an important initiative implemented by the Rakhine State government to improve health services for Buddhist and Muslim communities.
Mr. Pedersen underlined the importance of a holistic approach and international collaboration to find sustainable solutions in Rakhine.
The Rakhine situation, elections, the peace process and general developments was furthermore discussed with ministers like U Soe Thane and U Aung Min, Daw Aung Sang Suu Kyi, the 88 Generation, ethnic armed groups and representatives from Norwegian and Myanmar civil society. Mr. Pedersen expressed Norway’s continued support to the peace process and a long-term commitment to development in Myanmar.