We, 488 Myanmar civil society organizations, express our deep disappointment at the lack of action by the UN Security Council, despite repeated and vehement calls by civil society organizations to take swift action to protect the people of Myanmar from the brutal military regime. We condemn Russia, India, Vietnam, and China’s stance at the UN Security Council, and strongly condemn China’s position, which diminishes the role and responsibility of the United Nations and the international community to act to prevent the Myanmar military junta from committing further atrocities against the people.
On 10 March, the United States as the President of the UN Security Council issued a statement condemning the violence against peaceful protesters after the Council’s closed–door meeting on the situation in Myanmar. According to reporting by Reuters, the draft version of the Council’s statement included language that condemned the military coup and indicated that the Council would be ready “to consider possible further measures”. We note with deep disappointment that this statement could not be issued due to disagreement from China, Russia, India and Vietnam. Sadly, this shows the UNSC’s inability to take any meaningful action.
There have been repeated urgent calls – most recently by 452 civil society organizations – for the UN Security Council to immediately act. These calls have gone unheeded and the situation has reached an alarming point where the junta is committing vicious, inhumane and deliberate attacks against unarmed civilians with lethal force, day and night, with the sole aim to harm and kill.
Yet, despite such terror inflicted against the people of Myanmar, China has voiced its position of non-interference, describing the increasingly lethal situation as an internal affair, emphasizing political stability and sovereignty, while shifting the attention to ASEAN’s regional role. At the same time, China, in an emergency meeting with the illegitimate Myanmar junta on February 23rd, has requested the military regime to ensure the security of the oil and natural gas twin pipelines that runs from Kyaukphyu in Rakhine State to China and impose better security measures following the coup. This is according to a leaked document of the meeting that took place between the Director-General of external security affairs of the Chinese Foreign Ministry and the Myanmar military regime.
This is an affront, not only to the lives taken by the illegitimate and brutal regime which China protects and legitimizes, but to the international community that professes to uphold human rights and democracy and to prevent further atrocities. China’s actions to shield such a joint criminal enterprise as the Myanmar military junta and its failure to fulfil its obligation as a permanent member of the UN Council must be condemned by the wider larger international community.
The situation on the ground is pointing to an imminent, sustained and widespread lethal clampdown on peaceful protesters, most of whom are of the young generation and are the future leadership of Myanmar. Inaction by the international community and allowing China, Russia, India and Vietnam to continue to shield the military will not only further embolden them to continue commit these grave crimes that may amount to crimes against humanity, with blanket impunity, but also disregards the rule of law. The increasing and systematic nature of the attacks against the people of Myanmar by the junta’s security forces calls for immediate action from the Security Council in order to ensure the protection of the people of Myanmar, to prevent further atrocity crimes and support the world’s peace and stability.
We call on the UN Security Council to:
Should the Security Council fail to fulfil its mandate, we call on the UN General Assembly to exercise its power enshrined in the UN Charter to act to protect the people.