UNDP Administrator’s first visit to Myanmar after more than two decadesJun 5, 2013
Yangon – UN Under-Secretary General and UNDP Administrator Ms. Helen Clark arrives Myanmar on 4 June at the invitation of President Thein Sein as a Co-chair of the World Economic Forum on East Asia.
This is the first visit by a UNDP Administrator since 1987. Her visit sends a strong signal of UNDPs commitment to support Myanmar's journey to democracy, peaceful transition and inclusive development.
The Administrator met with heads of the United Nations agencies in Myanmar before meeting with women representatives from civil society, ethnic women organizations and the academia in Myanmar in the afternoon. Meeting with the women representatives focused on gender priorities and challenges in the context of Myanmar’s democratic reforms, and on UNDP’s support to a gender sensitive democratic transition.
Representatives of UNDP-initiated self reliance groups (SRG) then presented Ms Helen Clark a poem composed by U Sein Hla, husband of a member of SRG in Shan State. “The poem I composed is to show community’s appreciation to UNDP’s support to us. We are very glad to meet with the UNDP Administrator and express our appreciation to the organisation personally,” U Sein Hla said in excitement.
SRG formation is one of the key instruments for UNDP’s previous Human Development Initiative (HDI) programme that helped to strengthen social capital and empower communities, particularly of women, at the village level. UNDP is leveraging its HDI exit to further strengthen the groups for their sustainability.
Ms. Clark met with the diplomatic community in Myanmar and learnt of the opportunities and challenges and how the UN Development System can best work with all its partners to bring the best experiences and lessons from around the world to support Myanmar's development.
On 5 June, the Administrator will meet with UNDP staff and then visit to Shwe Dagon Pagoda in the morning. She will proceed to a community learning centre in Thanlyin Township to witness successful activities supported to community.
Alex Nyi Nyi Aung, Communications Analyst