The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of International Cooperation and the Union Attorney-General Office and the Union Civil Service Board organized their press briefings on their 4th-year performances yesterday.
Union Civil Service Board
U Saw Valentine, the member of Union Civil Service Board, explained appointment, promotion, transfers, training, setting rules and principles for the officers. In the 4th-year of this administration, the UCSB elected 1,370 officers for ministries and organizations, section process of 227 vacant position and 1,303 assistant health officers.
The USCB conducted psycho tests in helping the ministries and organizations, promotion into gazette officers, transfers of officers from the Ministry of Defence to the civil departments, and management courses for all the levels of officers.
In their 4th year of the present government, the USCB could generate 18,273 trainee officers, and issued the Civil Service Personnel System on 4 October 2019 for the improvement of the State administrative machinery and the consistency of the functions of service personnel. It also managed to amend 7 articles in the Union Civil Service Board Law.
The UCSB will issue a report of the public opinion on the State service personnel which was collected from 2, 520 households in Nay Pyi Taw, regions and states under the directives of Union Government Office.
Leadership development scheme for advanced civil service management report has been issued in Myanmar and English languages.
The USCB also reviewed civil service ethics and produced updated versions after submitting them to the President’s Office, introduced the Online Application System (OAS), posting the activities on the www.ucsb.gov.mm and Facebook page Union Civil Service Board Myanmar, and creating Mobile App for application of officer positions.
The e-library system has set up at the two central civil service institutes, with preparations for conducting the courses in blended e-learning system, reciprocal evaluations among the trainees, learning management system, tests, other ICT courses.
The USCB has planned to implement the e-Recruitment and integrated Civil Service System in 2019-2020 financial year and to conduct training courses online during the COVID-19 threats.
From reform programmes, the USCB has expected the results of improvement of government’s administration mechanism, generating civil service employees who can perform their duties continuously in organizing manners, strengthening their leadership role with progressive attitudes through learnings, trainings and methods, and for improvement of transparency among civil service members.
Regarding the media questions, U Khin Maung Win, the Permanent Secretary of USCB, answered the 97,443 officers and 920,385 other ranks, excluding the members of Tatmadaw and Myanmar Police Force, are in civil service duties across the country, and 2,532 personnel left out of the duties.
Member of USCB U Saw Valentine and Permanent Secretary U Khine Maung Win then answered to the media questions, including appointment of permanent staff, advisors at the ministries and the new edition of civil service ethics.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of International Cooperation
Permanent Secretary U Soe Han from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs explained the 4th-year performances of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of International Cooperation on international relations and cooperation in promoting the interests of country and people in the international arena, and the works of ministries based on the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence in practising an Independent and Active Foreign Policy.
The President made three state foreign visits: the first one is to Viet Nam from 10 to 14 May 2019 for working visit and the United Nations Day of Vesak, the second one is to India from 30 to 31 May 2019 for swearing-in of an Indian Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi and the third visit is official visit to India invited by its President from 26 to 29 February 2020.
Meanwhile, the State Counsellor made eight overseas visits to China from 25 to 27 April 2019 for the Second Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) Summit, to Cambodia from 27 to 28 April 2019 at the invitation of its prime minister, from 1 to 43 June 2019 to the Czech Republic, from 5 to 7 June 2019 to Hungary, to Thailand from 20 to 23 June 2019 for attending the 34h ASEAN Summit, from 20 to 24 October 2019 to Japan for coronation of Japanese King, from 31 October to 4 November 2019 to Thailand for attending the 35th ASEAN Summit and from 25 to 17 November 2019 to attend the 30th Anniversary of ASEAN-ROK Summit and ROK-Mekong Summit.
Vice President U Myint Swe visited China from 18 to 22 September 2019 to attend the 16th China-ASEAN Expo.
Vice President U Henry Van Thio visited Indonesia from 19 to 21 October 2019 to attend swearing-in of its president, to Cambodia from 18 to 21 November 2019 to attend the 2nd Asia-Pacific Summit and to Korea from 3 to 5 February 2020 to attend the World Peace Summit.
Foreign leaders also made official visits to Myanmar— ROK President Moon Jae-in and wife from 3 to 5 September 2019, Nepali President Bidya Devi from 16 to 20 October 2019, Vietnamese Prime Minster Nguyen Xuan Phuc from 16 to 18 November 2019, Chinese President Xi Jinping from 17 and 18 January 2020 in the year of 70th anniversary diplomatic relations between the two countries as the first Chinese president to Myanmar after 20 years of his predecessor Jiang Zemin, the Vice President Seychelles, the Deputy Prime Minister of Cambodia, the Deputy Prime Minister of Viet Nam and the Deputy Prime Minister of Serbia.
During the President’s friendly visit to India, the MoU and 10 agreements were signed.
During the visit of State Counsellor to China, the five-years development plan for economy and trade cooperation, the four-agreements for cooperation in economy and technologies.
Myanmar and Nepal signed two agreements, and Myanmar and ROK signed cooperation agreement, MoU and 33 letters.
Diplomatic relations were extended to the Republic of Benin and the Togolese Republic in 2019, making foreign ties with 193 countries out of 123.
The two ministries are also working for finalizing demarcation of borders with the five neighouring countries such as Thailand, India, China, Laos and Bangladesh.
Consular services of these ministries earned K34 billion (US$22.26 million) during the 4th year of the present administration.
The MoFA arranged relief and repatriation flights to bring back a total of 4,587 Myanmar nationals stranded abroad due to outbreak of COVID-19 up to 18 June 2020.
Opportunities for capacity building of 11,740 civil service staff were created between 2016 and 2020 under the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI).
The $6.7 million from Mekong-Lancang Special Fund (2020) for 22 projects of 10 government ministries was received and an agreement was reached with the member countries for establishing the Mekong-ROK Biodiversity Centre in Myanmar.
The Independent Commission of Enquiry was formed in 2018, with the Chairperson of Philippine Ambassador Rosario G.Manalo and the commission presented its final report to the President on 20 January 2020.
The works of ministries could prevent international pressures at UN Security Council until now.
Myanmar managed to face against the Gambia’s accusation of Crime of Genocide at the International Court of Justice.
The State Counsellor attended hearings on provisional measures at the ICJ from 10 to 12 December 2019.
The MoFA also contributed its diplomatic efforts to name Bagan as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in June 2019.
The ministry also worked for health insurances of diplomatic staff in 29 offices.
In responding to the media questions, Permanent Secretary U Soe Han said that Myanmar missions abroad are helping its nationals, either legal or illegal, in the respective countries, their return to home during COVID-19, delay of reparation for 3,000 Myanmar nationals who are servicing prison terms due to breaching immigration laws of respective countries, while priority is being given to other people facing more difficulties, problems of Myanmar citizens in Malaysia during the COVID-19, the ministry’s implementations of provisional measures of ICJ and preparation for the second report to be submitted in November during the period of General Election, directives to the respective embassies for the return of undocumented Myanmar nationals, request of budget at the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw for legal dispute at ICJ, charges for lawyer services, inviting former Myanmar citizens for the services in the development of the country and practices in diplomatic ethics.
Union Attorney-General Office
The Union Attorney-General Office explained their fourth-year performances at the press conference.
Permanent Secretary Dr Thida Oo said the Legal Review and Advice Department has reviewed 178 legal bills and drafts of government orders, notifications and directives and 437 regulations, and translated 38 enacted laws and bylaws and 26 regulations and government orders from Myanmar to English in the 4th year.
The Legal Advice Department reviewed, advised on, and published 952 matters related to international and ASEAN laws, 1,267 matters related to business contracts signed between government departments and domestic and foreign private companies, and 654 general legal advice.
The Prosecution and Legal Vetting Department has completed 508 criminal appeals, 25 special criminal appeals, 909 criminal case preparations, verification of 38 capital punishments, 11 general criminal cases submitted, and 35 special general criminal cases submitted. The department accepted 39 writs on behalf of the Union Government while the OUAG gave legal advice for 238 criminal cases before filing charges.
The Administrative Department has opened 4 training courses for legal officers, organized 65 workshops with domestic and foreign organizations, published 2nd issue of the 11th volume of the 2018 law and bylaw documents legal journal, letters for legal offices, issues 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 of translated legal books, the Bar Council Act, books on bylaws and regulations for electing high court lawyers and distributing them to the OUAG and its branches across the states and regions.
The Union Government formed the Rule of Law Centres and Justice Sector Coordinating Body in February 2017 with the Union Attorney-General as Chairman and the Deputy Attorney-General and the Deputy Minister for Home Affairs as vice-chairmen.
The group disseminates legal information and access to justice for everyone while receiving 731 reports on justice in the two years since its formation. They published the Justice for the Public Strategic Plan (2019-2023) in January 2019 and organized 34 seminars.
The Bar Council held 3 work meetings in the fourth year and reviewed 1,115 applications for high court lawyers and sent them with remarks to the Supreme Court of the Union.
The Bar Council also issues smart cards for high court lawyers and the law amending the Bar Council Act was enacted in June 2019 while the bylaw for electing the Bar Council and regulations for electing in the Bar Council has been enacted. According to Bylaw Section 4-(a), the Bar Council election will be held on 2 August 2020 with 15 members, of which 11 will be elected high court lawyers.
The Legal Translation Commission was established with Order No.16/2016 by the President’s Office and reformed with Order No.31/2017. The Union Attorney-General serves as Chairman of the Legal Translation Commission that has 12 members. The commission has translated 24 of 81 laws from English to Myanmar and have published up to volume 7 of legal books.
The Criminal Investigation and Prosecution Body submitted the report of the Independent Commission of Enquiry (ICOE) to the President on 20 January 2020. The President’s Office announced on 21 January to continue criminal investigation related to Rakhine State and to press charges if sufficient evidence was found, as instructed to the OUAG.
The President’s Office formed the Criminal Investigation and Prosecution Body with the Union Attorney-General as Chairman and with ten members on 24 January to fulfill these tasks. The group consists of deputy ministers from relevant departments, Deputy Judge Advocate-General, directors-general, and the deputy chief of Myanmar Police Force. This group has called four meetings and submitted its report on the work they have done from 24 to 30 January 2020 to the President’s Office on 1 May 2020.
The Special Unit on International Criminal Justice was formed with the President’s Order on 25 November 2019 to investigate the allegations of human rights violations in Rakhine State. The special unit consists of representatives from the Union Attorney-General Office, the Ministry of Defence, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The ASEAN Law Association (ALA) was formed in February 1979 in Jakarta, Indonesia, and Myanmar became a member in 2012 while formed the ALA Myanmar in July 2013. The committee was renewed on 25 April 2019 with Order No.71/2019 with the Union Attorney-General as Chairman and with 9 members. The committee’s first meeting was held on 30 May 2019. Senior officials from the OUAG soon attended the ALA meetings as representatives of Myanmar annually.
The www.mlis.gov.mm website was successfully launched on 24 May 2018 with assistance from KOICA and has a resource of over 9100 legal information, including laws and conventions, that are updated regularly. The Code of Ethics for Law Officers was published to increase public trust in the OUAG and its branches and has been included as a separate subject in training courses.
The dossier management and document management system was implemented with help from USAID and 8 pilot legal offices have been opened to ensure case efficiency and authenticity. The Special Prosecution Unit was formed with the Director-General of the Prosecution and Legislative Vetting Department and 24 legal officials and held 7 workshops in collaboration with the US Department of Justice.
Next, Permanent Secretary Dr Thida Oo replied to a question from the media on the current activities of the Special Unit on International Criminal Justice and the OUAG’s handling of assistance and advisory opinons related to the matter of the International Court of Justice.
Dr Thida Oo said as they need more experience on international criminal justice, the special unit compiles research papers and advisory opinions. She said the OUAG has lead the formation to implement the ICOE report and has formed task forces and advises them on strategy. She said the special unit compiled research papers for the ICJ matter as well.
Dr Thida Oo said they have formed executive committees and working committees at various levels for the ICJ with OUAG members in those committees. She said they implement provisional measures such as writing reports, translating, suggesting on improvements. She said the OUAG translates, issues directives related to preventing hate-speech, adhering to the Genocide Convention, and preventing destruction of evidence.
The press conference on the fourth-year performances of the Union Government will continue will the Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Defence, and the Ministry of Health and Sports on 22 June.—Han Myo Su, Kay Tar (Translated by Aung Khin, Zaw Htet Oo)