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Three years since the military coup in Myanmar: foreign ministers’ joint statement

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The foreign ministers of 8 countries and the European Union High Representative gave a statement marking 3 years since the military coup in Myanmar.

From: Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and The Rt Hon Lord Cameron

Published: 31 January 2024

Joint statement by the foreign ministers of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Norway, Republic of Korea, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs on behalf of the European Union, marking 3 years since the military coup in Myanmar:

Three years ago, on 1 February 2021, the Myanmar military overthrew the democratically elected government, undoing a decade of progress.

Under the military regime, violence against civilians has escalated, with thousands jailed, tortured and killed. Airstrikes, shelling and arson have been used to destroy civilian infrastructure, including homes, schools, healthcare facilities and places of worship. Systematic discrimination against members of religious and ethnic groups, including Rohingya, is rife. Many are displaced and continue to face horrific conditions, and others have been forced to flee across Myanmar’s borders. The military’s actions have fuelled a growing humanitarian crisis with 2.6 million people displaced from their homes, and more than 18 million people in need.

We condemn in the strongest possible terms the military regime’s ongoing atrocities and human rights violations, such as sexual and gender-based violence, and the restriction of fundamental freedoms including freedom of expression, through peaceful protests and the media. We reiterate our call for the Commander-in-Chief and the military to change course, immediately ceasing violence against civilians, releasing all unjustly detained political prisoners, allowing full humanitarian access and creating space for inclusive dialogue with all stakeholders.

We strongly encourage unified efforts by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to resolve the crisis. We commend the constructive efforts of the ASEAN Chairs and Special Envoys. We call on the military regime to implement ASEAN’s Five-Point Consensus and engage meaningfully and positively with ASEAN representatives, in order for Myanmar to transition towards an inclusive democracy.

We continue to support the full implementation of United Nations (UN) Security Council resolution 2669 (2022) and underline our support for UN Security Council activities to support ASEAN’s efforts to find a peaceful solution to the crisis. We call on the UN to strengthen its efforts on Myanmar including via the timely appointment of a Special Envoy and a Resident Coordinator and urge UN Member states to maintain their support to address urgent humanitarian needs in Myanmar.

We call on all members of the international community to support efforts to push the Myanmar military to cease violence, to bring about genuinely inclusive dialogue, in order to establish a credible, peaceful democratic future for Myanmar;  to meet the urgent humanitarian needs of people in Myanmar and refugees who have fled to neighbouring countries, including its most vulnerable communities, and to cease providing the Myanmar military with the arms and equipment that are necessary for them to commit atrocities.

Three years on from the military coup, we continue to stand in solidarity with the Myanmar people and their desire for an inclusive and genuine democracy in Myanmar.

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