Statement 105 Views

Member States Must Follow-Up Strengthened UN Human Rights Council Resolution on Myanmar With Concrete Action

April 5th, 2024  •  Author:   Special Advisory Council for Myanmar  •  4 minute read
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5 April 2024: The Special Advisory Council for Myanmar (SAC-M) welcomes the adoption of a strengthened United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council resolution on the situation of human rights in Myanmar. It is imperative that UN member States now respond to the gravity of the escalating crisis in Myanmar by taking concrete steps to end Myanmar military violence and hold military leaders accountable for their crimes. 

The resolution on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, which was adopted by consensus in Geneva on Thursday, 4 April 2024, calls for steps to be taken towards advancing accountability and cutting the Myanmar militarys supply of arms and jet fuel that enable it to perpetrate atrocities against civilians.

The resolution calls on all States to to cease the illicit sale, transfer and diversion of arms, munitions and other military equipment to Myanmar” and to refrain […] from the export, sale or transfer of jet fuel.” The inclusion of jet fuel, as called for by Myanmar civil society and international non-governmental organisations, is a critical step towards cutting the militarys capacity to commit human rights atrocities through its use of devastating airstrikes.

Ending the supply of jet fuel is urgent, as the military escalates its indiscriminate aerial bombardment of civilian targets in response to mounting losses on the ground to allied resistance forces. According to data compiled by Nyan Lynn Thit Analytica, the military carried out 750 airstrikes between 1 September and 31 December 2023, an average of at least six per day.

Furthermore, SAC-M emphasises that any transfer of arms, munitions and military equipment to the Myanmar military likely constitutes an act of aiding and abetting war crimes, which is a crime under international law. Therefore, all sale, transfer and diversion of arms, munitions and other military equipment to the Myanmar military is illicit and, under the resolution, should cease.

 The Myanmar military has ignored previous Human Rights Council resolutions on Myanmar by continuing to block the population’s access to vital humanitarian assistance. According to UN figures, 2.8 million people are internally displaced and 18.6 million people are in need of aid.

SAC-M calls on the international community to not fall into the ‘humanitarian trap’ of trying to secure a path forward towards a political solution through a notional humanitarian corridor, reducing the response to the whole Myanmar crisis into a purely humanitarian format. Instead, member States, donors and UN agencies must expand delivery of humanitarian assistance to those in need through direct coordination with resistance authorities, including the National Unity Government and Ethnic Revolutionary Organisations, and broader civil society.

The new resolution also requests the UN Secretary-General to call the continued attention of the Security Council to the situation in Myanmar”, which has failed to enforce its resolution 2669 on Myanmar since it was adopted in December 2022. The Secretary-General should advise the UN Security Council to impose a total embargo on the sale, transfer and diversion of arms, munitions and other military equipment to the Myanmar military and to refer the situation in Myanmar to the International Criminal Court.

The Security Council held an open briefing on the situation in Myanmar in New York on Thursday, hours after the Human Rights Council resolution was adopted. However, Myanmars permanent representative to the UN, Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun, was prevented from speaking at the briefing. SAC-M considers this to set a dangerous precedent for the denial of speaking rights to a permanent representative of a concerned country. 

Additionally, the Human Rights Council resolution calls on the High Commissioner for Human Rights to report to the Council on pathways to fulfil the aspirations of the people of Myanmar for human rights protection, accountability, democracy and a civilian government.”

SAC-M urges the High Commissioner to use the report to consider ways in which the extensive evidence collected by the Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar can be put to use and the process of prosecuting the leaders of the military for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes can finally commence. 

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