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UN appoints former Australian foreign minister as special envoy for Myanmar

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United Nations secretary-general Antonio Guterres has appointed former Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop as his special envoy for Myanmar, revealed on Friday.

Bishop takes the role replacing Singaporean diplomat Noeleen Heyzer who stepped down in June last year.

“She brings extensive political, legal, management and senior leadership experience to the role,” UN spokesman Stephan Dujarric said while announcing Ms Bishop’s appointment.

Bishop said on a post on social media that she is deeply honoured to be appointed Special Envoy of the Secretary General of the UN on Myanmar to help deliver on the mandate of the General Assembly and the Security Council Resolution of December 2022.

Bishop has appointed after the crisis in Myanmar since the army took power from Aung Suu Kyi’s elected government on February 1, 2021.

Myanmar is locked in a civil war between the military on one side and, on the other, a loose alliance of ethnic minority rebels and an armed resistance movement spawned out of the junta’s bloody crackdown on anti-coup protests.

The Special Envoy plays a vital role in sustaining international attention and supporting coordinated efforts towards a peaceful resolution in the interests of the people of Myanmar.

Other than being Australian foreign minister from 2013-2018, Bishop has previously been a member of the Australian Parliament from 1998-2019 and she is currently chancellor of the Australian National University.

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