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Action needed to stop carnage in Myanmar: UN expert

  • Diplomatic Correspondent
  • 24 December, 2022 12:00 AM
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Action needed to stop carnage in Myanmar: UN expert

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While noting that the UN Security Council has adopted a resolution on Myanmar for the first time since a military coup nearly two years ago, Tom Andrews, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, responded by stating that the crisis in Myanmar will worsen unless and until Member States of the UN respond with action.

The UN expert in a statement said: “It is notable that the UN Security Council has passed a resolution on Myanmar for the first time since the military unleashed a brutal crackdown on the people of Myanmar nearly two years ago. I appreciate the efforts made by the United Kingdom and other Security Council Members to craft and advance a resolution that managed to avoid a veto.”

With all due respect to the Security Council, however, ‘expressing deep concern’ and demanding that certain actions be taken without any use of the Security Council’s Chapter VII authority, will not stop the illegal Myanmar junta from attacking and destroying the lives of the 54 million people being held hostage in Myanmar. What is required is action.

He said the systematic gross human rights violations -- amounting to war crimes and crimes against humanity -- being perpetrated daily on the people of Myanmar by an illegal military junta requires strong, coordinated action by UN Member States.

The demands put forward in the resolution -- including ‘an immediate end to all forms of violence,’ the release of political prisoners, the need for unimpeded humanitarian access, and the need to respect the rights of women and children -- are critically important but what is missing are consequences for the failure to meet them and the imposition of sanctions and accountability for crimes the military has committed to date, reads the statement.

“I wholeheartedly agree with Security Council members Norway, the United Arab Emirates, the United States, Iceland, and Mexico that the language of the resolution should have been stronger.”

He said the Security Council resolution should not become a dead-end that is followed by more international inaction. It should be a wake-up call for those nations who support a people under siege. It is clearly time for the creation of a working coalition of nations who are willing to stand with the people of Myanmar by providing what they need most -- action.

UN Secretary-General Guterres was correct when last month he declared that, with respect to Myanmar, the international community has failed. This failure cannot be rectified by resolutions that have no consequences. It can only be responsibly addressed with targeted, coordinated action. #