Bishop named United Nations special envoy for Myanmar

Former foreign minister Julie Bishop says she is deeply honoured to have been named by United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres as his special envoy on Myanmar.

Ms Bishop, who is currently Australian National University chancellor, will take up the post, which has been vacant since the departure of Singaporean diplomat Noeleen Heyzer last June.

“I am deeply honoured to be appointed Special Envoy of the Secretary General of the United Nations on Myanmar to help deliver on the mandate of the General Assembly and the Security Council Resolution of December 2022,” she said in a statement on Saturday.

Announcing the role, the UN noted one-time deputy Liberals leader had "extensive policy, legal and senior management experience".

"Throughout her career, Ms. Bishop has strengthened engagement with regional partners and led international negotiation efforts, including the first ever United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea conciliation, it added.

Foreign Minister Penny Wong welcomed the news on Saturday morning.

"Ms Bishop brings a wealth of experience to the role and her appointment comes at a critical time as the political, humanitarian and security situation in Myanmar continues to worsen," she said. 

"The people of Myanmar continue to demonstrate great resolve in the face of unspeakable violence and human rights abuses, and Australia remains resolute in our support for them."

Senator Wong said the special envoy played a vital role in sustaining international attention and supporting co-ordinated efforts towards a peaceful resolution in the troubled Southeast Asian nation. 

Australia would work closely with Ms Bishop, ASEAN and the international community to build conditions for sustainable peace, she said.

Julie Bishop and Penny Wong (file)
Senator Wong (right) says Australia will work closely with Ms Bishop.

Senator Wong also reiterated the government's call for the Myanmar regime to "cease violence against civilians, release those unjustly detained, allow safe and unimpeded access for humanitarian assistance and return Myanmar to the path of inclusive democracy".

Myanmar has been in crisis since the army took power from Aung Suu Kyi's elected government on February 1, 2021.

The country is locked in a civil war between the military on one side and, on the other, a loose alliance of ethnic minority rebels and an armed resistance spawned out of the junta's crackdown on anti-coup protests.

Ms Bishop was Australia's foreign minister from 2013 to 2018 under prime ministers Tony Abbott, Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison.

She became ANU chancellor in January 2020.

The university's vice-chancellor, Professor Genevieve Bell, said Ms Bishop's recognition was well deserved.

 “The entire ANU community congratulates Julie on this important appointment and wishes her the very best in this vital role," she said.

License this article

What is AAPNews?

For the first time, Australian Associated Press is delivering news straight to the consumer.

No ads. No spin. News straight-up.

Not only do you get to enjoy high-quality news delivered straight to your desktop or device, you do so in the knowledge you are supporting media diversity in Australia.

AAP Is Australia’s only independent newswire service, free from political and commercial influence, producing fact-based public interest journalism across a range of topics including politics, courts, sport, finance and entertainment.

What is AAPNews?
The Morning Wire

Wake up to AAPNews’ morning news bulletin delivered straight to your inbox or mobile device, bringing you up to speed with all that has happened overnight at home and abroad, as well as setting you up what the day has in store.

AAPNews Morning Wire
AAPNews Breaking News
Breaking News

Be the first to know when major breaking news happens.

Notifications will be sent to your device whenever a big story breaks, ensuring you are never in the dark when the talking points happen.

Focused Content

Enjoy the best of AAP’s specialised Topics in Focus. AAP has reporters dedicated to bringing you hard news and feature content across a range of specialised topics including Environment, Agriculture, Future Economies, Arts and Refugee Issues.

AAPNews Focussed Content
Subscription Plans

Choose the plan that best fits your needs. AAPNews offers two basic subscriptions, all billed monthly.

Once you sign up, you will have seven days to test out the service before being billed.

AAPNews Full Access Plan
Full Access
  • Enjoy all that AAPNews has to offer
  • Access to breaking news notifications and bulletins
  • Includes access to all AAPNews’ specialised topics
Join Now
AAPNews Student Access Plan
Student Access
  • Gain access via a verified student email account
  • Enjoy all the benefits of the ‘Full Access’ plan at a reduced rate
  • Subscription renews each month
Join Now
AAPNews Annual Access Plan
Annual Access
  • All the benefits of the 'Full Access' subscription at a discounted rate
  • Subscription automatically renews after 12 months
Join Now

AAPNews also offers enterprise deals for businesses so you can provide an AAPNews account for your team, organisation or customers. Click here to contact AAP to sign-up your business today.

Download the app
Download AAPNews on the App StoreDownload AAPNews on the Google Play Store