UN Expert Urges Member States to Take Action on Myanmar Crisis
The Security Council resolution should not become a dead-end that is followed by more international inaction.
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.
“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,” the expert said.
He added that certain actions 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.
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.
“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,” Andrews said . “What the content of this resolution makes clear is that the action that is required to end this crisis will not come from the Security Council. It is therefore imperative that those nations with the political will to support the people of Myanmar take coordinated action immediately to end the carnage.”
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 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.
There are viable options for Member States who are prepared to address this failure, including coordinating sanctions, cutting off the flow of revenue that is financing the junta’s military assaults, an embargo on weapons and dual-use technology and robust humanitarian aid that can reach those most in need, among other measures. What is required is the political will to seize them, the UN expert said in his statement released on December 22, 2022.
Mr. Thomas Andrews (United States of America) is the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar.
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