15 November 2023, New York – European Union General Statement after adoption at the 78th United Nations General Assembly Third Committee Resolution on the Situation of human rights of Rohingya Muslims and other minorities in Myanmar – A/C.3/78/L.40 Rev 1
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.
The EU is, together with the OIC, introducing and sponsoring the resolution on the human rights situation of Rohingya Muslims and other minorities in Myanmar.
This resolution is about the atrocities committed against the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar for many years, which in 2017 led to more than one million being forced to flee the country. It is also about human rights violations and abuses against other minorities and the population Myanmar since the unjustified, illegal and unconstitutional military coup in February 2021, that forcibly overthrew the democratically elected government and threw the country into brutal conflict and repression.
Since last year, the human rights and humanitarian situation in Myanmar has further deteriorated. Violence and armed conflict have spread across the country, and the Myanmar armed and security forces have increased its widespread, deliberate and indiscriminate use of force against the civilian population, including by aerial attacks and burning of villages and IDP camps, mass killings, torture, maiming and sexual- and gender based violence. Politicians, journalists, civil society activists and peaceful protesters continue to be arbitrary detained. Martial law has been imposed in parts of the country and 18 million people, a third of the population, are now in need of humanitarian assistance. At the same time, the Myanmar military continues to deliberately block and obstruct humanitarian aid to reach those in need, including after the devastating Cyclone Mocha hit Rakhine State in May. With the current situation in Myanmar, there is little hope and prospects for the safe, voluntary, dignified and sustainable return of Rohingya refugees who continue to be generously hosted in Bangladesh
The international community cannot stand idle by while these atrocities continue in Myanmar. That is why the EU, together with OIC, puts forward this resolution to call on the international community to act to stop these atrocities.
This year’s text aims to reflect the deteriorating situation in Myanmar as just described. The text recalls Security Council resolution 2669, requests the Secretary-General to appoint a new Special Envoy and develop a strategy for Myanmar, while recognizing the important role and work of ASEAN in facilitating a peaceful solution to the crisis. The text contains stronger language in relation to international humanitarian law, on the rights of children, and maintains a strong focus on the need for accountability, including through ongoing procedures of ICC and ICJ, and the work of the Independent Investigate Mechanism for Myanmar.
The EU remains deeply worried that the military build-up and continued flow of arms, weapons and technology to the Myanmar military gravely undermine human rights, which we would have liked to be reflected in the current resolution.
However, we believe that the text sends an important message that the General Assembly remains engaged and committed to address the situation in Myanmar.
I want thank the OIC facilitators, Bangladesh and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, for the very good cooperation in preparing the resolution this year. We also thank all co-sponsors of this important resolution.
The EU continues to stand with the people of Myanmar, including Rohingya and other minorities, and fully support their democratic will and aspirations and their legitimate right to live in peace and respect for their human rights and fundamental freedoms.