Historic Conference on Development Policy Options
The Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development, the Ministry of Education, and the Ministry of Health of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar and the United Nations Country Team in Myanmar jointly held a three-day Conference on Development Policy Options in Myanmar (with special reference to Education and Health), in collaboration with the Myanmar Development Resource Institute and with the support of the European Union. This event convened at the Myanmar International Convention Centre (MICC) in Naypyitaw from February 13-15, 2012, and attracted 600 participants, spanning from government officials to civil society organizations. To view detailed information about this conference, visit yangon.unic.org.
The government’s focus on development continues. Daw Aye Aye Thant and her husband Tyn Myint-U met with the President, and he asked his office to translate Tyn Myint-U’s book Developing Myanmar: Toward a Knowledge-based Economy and distribute it to various government departments.
"As we are all aware that more investment in education and in the health sector will lead to more development of the nation." -- Opening Address by H.E. Vice-President Dr. Sai Mauk Kham
Earth Day Celebration at the Shwedagon Pagoda
The spring equinox on March 20 was welcomed in Myanmar with the ringing of the bell at the magnificent Shwedagone Pagoda. Daw Aye Aye Thant rang the bell which was the same bell rung recently by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her visit and President Richard Nixon in 1954. Donated by King Thayawaddy, it is the second largest bell in the country and was made in 1843. It weighs about 42 tons and is seven-feet high with a radius of six feet. Organized by The U Thant Institute, the event was followed by a brief reception at the nearby Ma Naw Ma Yeik Di Dhamma Yone.
Earth Day is an annual celebration on the vernal equinox, when the Sun is above the equator and day and night are of equal length. The equinox is a significant time according to Myanmar traditional astrology, since it represents peace by being the precise moment when the earth is balanced. The first Earth Day was held on March 21, 1970, in San Francisco and other cities. On March 20, 1971, UN Secretary-General U Thant rang the peace bell at the United Nations in New York City to mark world peace and nature conservation. Ever since, there has been an event at the UN marking Earth Day. To learn more, please visit earthsocietyfoundation.org.
"May there only be peaceful and cheerful Earth Days to come for our beautiful spaceship Earth as it continues to spin and circle in frigid space with the warm and fragile cargo of animate life." – U Thant
U Thant was the third Secretary-General of the United Nations and served from 1961 to 1971. He was chosen to head the world body following the death of the then Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold in an air crash in September 1961.
U Thant was appointed Burma’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, with the rank of Ambassador in 1957. As UN Ambassador, he was active in issues of decolonization and was the Chairman of the Afro-Asian Working Group on Algerian Independence. In 1959, he served as one of the Vice-Presidents of the Assembly's fourteenth session. In 1961, U Thant was Chairman of the United Nations Congo Conciliation Commission and Chairman of the Committee on a United Nations Capital Development Fund.