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Myanmar civil society organizations commend UN Acting Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Myanmar, Mr. Andrew Kirkwood’s calls for collective action by the members of the UN Security Council

March 22nd, 2021  •  Author:   Progressive Voice and Partner Organizations  •  4 minute read
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For Immediate Release

[22 March 2021] Progressive Voice and its partner organizations commend the remarks made by the Acting Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for the United Nations in Myanmar, Mr. Andrew Kirkwood calling for “collective Member State action at the Security Council.” We reiterate our call for the UN Security Council to immediately dispatch an enhanced monitoring and intervention mission to Myanmar to stop the abhorrent lethal violence that is being inflicted with total impunity against peaceful protesters and to end the terror campaign against the population by the illegitimate military junta throughout the country.

Mr. Kirkwood on 19 March, 2021 during a briefing to the UN press, echoed civil society calls for concerted action at the UN Security Council stating, “people are really looking for concerted international action in terms of sanctions and frankly some people want to see peacekeepers… What we need is Member State action and collective Member State action at the Security Council.”

“We welcome remarks made by the UN representative in Myanmar, Mr. Andrew Kirkwood, reflecting the situation on the ground and calling on concerted action by UN Member States at the Security Council. As stated by Mr. Kirkwood, the situation on the ground is dire and as he rightfully put it, ‘could get worse and spin totally out of control.’ As the Myanmar military and its related security forces slaughter hundreds of peaceful protesters and commit crimes against humanity with total impunity, it is unconscionable for the international community, and in particular the UN Security Council, to continue to be paralyzed with inaction,” said Khin Ohmar of Progressive Voice.

Nearly 500 Myanmar civil society organizations have made repeated calls for the UN Security Council to immediately dispatch an enhanced monitoring and intervention mission to Myanmar to stop the violent attacks by the junta against peaceful protesters, prevent further bloodshed and loss of life and release all those arbitrarily detained. In addition, they called for the Security Council to urgently impose a coordinated, global arms embargo on Myanmar and refer Myanmar to the International Criminal Court to hold the military regime to account for the atrocity crimes that it has committed and is continuing to commit.

In addition, Mr. Kirkwood in addressing the press stated that a “slow burning food crisis” is unfolding in Myanmar. Such remarks are serious warning signs of challenges ahead, and thus, the UN Country Team in Myanmar must urgently act to prevent such a food crisis and ensure humanitarian needs are met on the ground.

“We have repeatedly called for the UN Security Council to intervene, to immediately act to save lives. Inaction by the international community will only further embolden the military to continue to act with total impunity. Prolonging inaction will lead to further suffering on the ground for the people of Myanmar who are starting to face food shortages, in addition to ongoing blatant and deliberate attacks by these criminals,” said Nai Aue Mon of Human Rights Foundation of Monland.

Echoing these calls, Ko Ting Oo of All Arakan Students’ and Youths’ Congress stated, “On average, five people have been murdered by the military every day since the start of the coup on February 1. At least 250 lives have already been taken. With each day that passes without action, more innocent lives, mostly youth, who are peacefully and bravely defending democracy and human rights, are murdered by the brutal and inhumane military. The UN and international community must not sit idly by while the people of Myanmar suffer.”

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