Name? Kyaw Moe Tun
Westphalian identity? Burmese
Why is he in the news? Kyaw Moe Tun, permanent representative of Myanmar to the United Nations for the previous elected government, is in the news for his public opposition to the military regime in Myanmar. Back in February, he refused to step down from his post after he was fired by the regime and denounced the coup. Now, Biden and Xi have shown joint support of this resistance by brokering a blockade to new representation at least until November.
Why do we care? Because US President Biden and Chinese President Xi can’t seem to agree on a whole lot these days. They’ve luckily found some shared interest in this odd overlap of foreign policy. Their joint move to ensure Moe Tun’s position (for the time being) erodes the international legitimacy of the military junta in Myanmar.
Why should you care? Having an officially appointed representative like Moe Tun at the UN is quite simply a source of legitimacy for a government. The new regime is fighting to get its foot in at the UN, which would imply a passive recognition of its government by all its members. You should care 7/10 that the two global powers can at least agree on this matter.
Who else cares? General Hlaing, the leader of the Myanmar military junta, is not receiving the legitimacy he hoped for. So far only Russia has given the General some form of legitimacy by inviting him to a security conference in Moscow. However, as of now the US and China won’t give him that edge.
Any further comments? Moe Tun’s is not the only credential consideration on the table in November. The Taliban and Col Mamady Doumbouya of Guinea are expecting their recognition too. The UN Credentials Committee tasked with evaluating their proposed representation will determine whether the military junta is representing the people of Myanmar before the UN General Assembly votes on it.