42nd Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council
Item 2: Interactive Dialogue with the Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar
Oral Statement Delivered by Khin Ohmar
On behalf of the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)
Tuesday, 17 September 2019
FORUM-ASIA welcomes the report of the Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar. In spite of Mission’s concrete recommendations toward ending grave international crimes, including holding the Myanmar military accountable, little action has been taken and military continues to act with complete impunity. The persecution of the Rohingya, and the systematic oppression and domination of ethnic minorities in Rakhine, Chin, Shan, Kachin, Karenni and Karen States are continuing. Given the ongoing serious violations and the end of the Mission’s mandate, we call on the Council to increase monitoring and reporting of the situation in Myanmar through the Special Rapporteur or the OHCHR, across all sessions next year – or to consider a Special Session specifically to address accountability.
While the operationalization of the Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar (IIMM) signifies an important beginning in facilitating fair and independent criminal proceedings, it is the concerted action by the international community to refer the situation in Myanmar to the International Criminal Court or to establish an independent tribunal that will ultimately lead to justice and accountability. We urge countries to follow up on the Mission’s work by exercising universal jurisdiction to pursue criminal accountability. Furthermore, the UN must promptly implement reforms to prevent the recurrence of the “systemic” failures and “obvious dysfunctional performance” outlined in the report and ensure accountability for those failures as required.
The FFM has also found that grave international crimes committed in Myanmar are enabled by deeply entrenched economic interests of the military that provides off budget financing to the military without civilian oversight. International investors in Myanmar must heed the recommendations of the FFM and divest from military owned businesses and companies, particularly those associated with the two military conglomerates – Myanmar Economic Holdings Limited (MEHL) and Myanmar Economic Cooperation (MEC). International efforts to ensure accountability in Myanmar must include targeted individual sanctions against members of the military and embargo on arms transfer.
We echo the FFM’s conclusion that: The military is out of control. It is vital that the international community take urgent and concrete action. Victims of the worst crimes, including genocide, deserve nothing less.