The United Nations in Myanmar calls for internet resumption in areas under shutdown in Rakhine State

  • The United Nations in Myanmar urges the Government to end the shutdown of mobile internet services in Ponnagyun, Mrauk-U, Kyauktaw, and Minbya Townships in Rakhine State. While welcoming steps taken to restore service to five out of the nine townships affected by the shutdown, the United Nations also notes that for those townships which remain cut off, the shut-down will have reached its 101st day on 30 September 2019.

Uninterrupted availability of the internet is indispensable and mobile internet services are a key enabler of the humanitarian and development work of the United Nations in Myanmar. The shutdown has therefore been a significant impediment to our work, complicating our ability to communicate in field locations, including with affected people. More broadly, the public in these areas, many of whom were already severely affected by the ongoing armed conflict in the area and by related constraints on humanitarian access, are facing additional difficulties related to the shutdown and in their daily lives.

The internet is critical for access to information and freedom of expression, which enable other fundamental human rights.

The shutdown is in contradiction to the principles and values of the Sustainable Development Goals, signed by the Government of Myanmar, which call for no one to be left behind, and has the potential to further undermine basic rights around access to food, education, health services and information.

The United Nations therefore calls on the Government of the Union of Myanmar to immediately resume internet services in the affected areas and to facilitate unhindered access for humanitarian organizations, in line with its obligations under international humanitarian law.

Media Contacts
Author
Aye Win
UNIC
National Information Officer
Aye Win is the National Information Officer at UN Information Centre Yangon and the RCO. He obtained a Masters degree in Linguistics and English as a Foreign Language from the Institute of Education in Yangon. He worked for three years at the Industrial Training Centre at Sinde, Myanmar and joined the German Embassy as a Public Information Assistant where he worked for ten years. He joined the UN Information Centre in 1995.
generic profile
UN entities involved in this initiative
FAO
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
IOM
International Organization for Migration
OCHA
Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
OHCHR
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
UN DPPA
United Nations Department of Political Affairs
UN Women
United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women
UNESCO
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
UNFPA
United Nations Population Fund
UNHCR
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
UNICEF
United Nations Children’s Fund
UNOPS
United Nations Office for Project Services
WFP
World Food Programme
WHO
World Health Organization
Other entities involved in this initiative
World Bank
World Bank