MIL-OSI UK: Government response: Minister for Asia statement on Arakan Army and Tatmadaw fighting

Source: United Kingdom – Executive Government & Departments

Minister of State for Asia and the Pacific Mark Field said:

I am deeply concerned by the escalation of violence in Rakhine State, including the attack by the Arakan Army on police posts and the targeting of a civilian government minister.

The UK calls on all sides involved in the conflict to show restraint. All sides have a duty to ensure that the safety of civilians is guaranteed, and to respect international law.

I also call on the military to grant access for humanitarian organisations, including the UN, to Rakhine State. The UK continues to urge all parties to come together to allow concerted and visible progress towards implementing the Rakhine Advisory Commission’s recommendations. The UK remains strongly committed to a peaceful democratic transition in Burma.

Further information

Published 18 January 2019


MIL-OSI UK: Government response: Ministerial statement on Zimbabwe

Source: UK Government

Minister of State for Africa, Harriett Baldwin, said:
“I have been following the events in Zimbabwe over the last week with growing concern. I summoned the Zimbabwean Ambassador to the United Kingdom to attend the Foreign Office on 17 January to discuss the situation.
“Since the weekend there has been widespread unrest and a heavy security force response, with several people killed and many injured.
“While we condemn the violent behaviour of some protestors, and unlawful acts such as arson and looting, we are deeply concerned that Zimbabwe’s security forces have acted disproportionately in response. In particular, there are disturbing reports of use of live ammunition, intimidation and excessive force.
“In addition, the Government of Zimbabwe shut off access to the internet on 15 and 16 January and continues to block a number of social media sites.
“We call on the Government of Zimbabwe to ensure its security forces act professionally, proportionately and at all times with respect for human life and constitutional rights. We further call on the Government of Zimbabwe to investigate all allegations of human rights abuses. We also urge the reinstatement of full internet access, consistent with citizens’ constitutional right to freedom of expression.”
Further information


MIL-OSI UK: Government response: Department for International Development response to Independent Expert Panel report into UNAIDS

Source: UK Government

Responding to the findings of the Independent Expert Panel report into UNAIDS the Department for International Development said:
“The Independent Expert Panel into UNAIDS highlights how poorly harassment, including sexual harassment, and bullying have been dealt with at the organisation.
“The UK recognises the critical role that UNAIDS as an organisation plays in the global AIDS response. However, it is important that actions urgently needed to address the issues identified within UNAIDS, start immediately. This requires strong leadership that builds trust within the organisation and with UNAIDS’ partners.
“For real change to happen new leadership is required. We welcome the decision by the Programme Coordinating Board (PCB) to initiate the recruitment process for a new Executive Director immediately. In the UK’s remaining two weeks as Chair of the PCB, the UK will work with UNAIDS Secretariat to initiate this process.
“At the same time the UK expects the current Executive Director to step down. This is vital to signal a strong response to this critical issue within and beyond the organisation.
“This report comes amid concerns this year over how the wider global aid community has failed in its duty to protect people from sexual harassment, exploitation, bullying and abuse of power. It is now time that people are held to account.
“The UK has been a driving force in tackling this issue, galvanising the sector to put in place the vital initiatives needed to finally rid it of those who seek to tarnish its reputation. We have been very clear that we will not tolerate practices which do not reach the highest standards in relation to tackling harassment, including sexual harassment, bulling and abuse of power.”


MIL-OSI UK: Government response: Secretary of State letter to the Aviation Industry

Source: United Kingdom – Executive Government & Departments

You may have seen the article on the front page of the Sunday Times yesterday (16 December 2018). I hope you will also have seen the very strong rebuttal from No 10 which followed this story. I wanted to write to you today to provide some further reassurance and to be clear on our position.

As you will already be aware, both the UK and the EU have made clear their desire to ensure flights between the UK and EU continue in any scenario. I believe both the UK and the EU have a determination to retain the aviation links which bring such significant economic and cultural benefits for both sides.

Indeed the UK made this clear in its technical notice on air services for flights to and from the UK published on 24 September. And the EU set out its intention to ensure this outcome in a Commission communication on 13 November.

This department fully recognises the importance of giving passengers and businesses confidence to book their holidays and business trips to and from the EU after Brexit.

So as I mentioned at the last industry roundtable, we are exploring what communications will be needed to provide that reassurance. I would like to continue to work with you on precisely this in the coming days.

I hope this provides you with some reassurance and look forward to further discussions with you in the coming weeks and months.

Published 17 December 2018