February 22, 2022
Reiterates CSOs rejection of power-sharing with the military junta, offers recommendations to UNSE
On 21 February, representatives of 20 Myanmar civil society organizations (CSOs) met with the UN Special Envoy of the Secretary-General on Myanmar.
While reiterating concerns expressed in their statement, the representatives assured the UNSE that the Myanmar people’s revolution presents an unprecedented opportunity for a peaceful Myanmar, as the people themselves have come to identify their collective vision for a new Myanmar that is based on federal democracy.
The calls have been clear: a new vision of Myanmar does not include the military in politics.
The representatives expressed concern over possible UN and governments attempts to convince political entities in Myanmar to enter into power sharing settlements in the lead up to the military junta orchestrated August 2023 elections. During the meeting, the representatives stated that it is extremely crucial for the UN to understand that the current political crisis is not between the National League for Democracy and the junta or between the National Unity Government (NUG) and the junta, but it is the junta staging a war against the nation and committing violence and atrocities against the people.
In addition, the representatives emphasized the need for justice and accountability. They emphasized that the terrorist military junta, who have committed grave crimes – genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes – must be held accountable, and not offered more power, a seat at the table or legitimacy from the international community.
The representatives also reiterated their concern regarding the UNSE’s comment that “the military is in control at this particular time”, stressing that such comment is a misinterpretation based on misconstrued understanding of the realities on the ground. Myanmar people have resisted the brutal and sadistic tactics of the illegal terrorist military junta and successfully prevented it from gaining territorial, political or economic control over the country for over a year – the representatives urged the UN to acknowledge this historic feat.
Moreover, the groups emphasized that the mandate of the UNSE has been historically ineffectual. The groups urged the mandate to be transformed from its traditional approach of peace brokering to center on accountability and moves to achieve transitional justice, to strengthen relevance of the role that reflects the current realities on the ground. The groups also urged that the mandate should ensure that stakeholders engaging in Myanmar comply with UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions relevant to the protection of civilians in situations of armed conflict, including UNSC resolutions on Women Peace and Security.
In addition, the representatives urged the UNSE to put in place necessary measures to ensure Myanmar people’s voices are given priority and ensure that procedures include a robust and inclusive engagement with Myanmar civil society organizations. In this regard, the groups expressed their readiness to continue to engage with the UNSE.
Finally, the groups called on the UNSE to bring several recommendations put forward by the people of Myanmar and CSOs to the UN, ASEAN and the wider international community. These include the following;
On humanitarian aid, the UN, ASEAN and international humanitarian aid organizations must:
To the UN Security Council:
The UNSC must adopt a resolution on Myanmar that includes the following:
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