Australia’s Ex-Foreign Minister Named UN Myanmar Envoy

United States – UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday appointed former Australian foreign minister Julie Bishop as his new envoy for Myanmar.

The post has been vacant since the departure in June 2023 of Singaporean diplomat Noeleen Heyzer.

Bishop, the current chancellor of the Australian National University, brings extensive government experience to the role. She was also cabinet minister for education, science and training.

She was a member of parliament for 20 years.

Bishop will be asked to work with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and “all stakeholders to advance toward a Myanmar-led political solution to the crisis”, said Khaled Khiari, the UN’s assistant secretary general.

The UN emphasized Myanmar’s mounting hunger, mass displacement and safety concerns since the 2021 coup.

It said around 2.8 million people have been displaced in Myanmar, 90 percent of them since the junta took power in 2021 with the number rising since fighting intensified last October.

Food insecurity affects about 12.9 million people, about a quarter of Myanmar’s population, according to the UN.

Irrawaddy News