Progressive Voice Demands Action from UN Security Council on Myanmar

April 7th, 2024  •  Author:   Mizzima  •  3 minute read
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NGO Progressive Voice issued a statement this week urging the UN Security Council to take concrete action for justice in Myanmar, following their recent rhetoric.

In a statement issued on 5 April responding to the UN Security Council’s open briefing on Myanmar under the presidency of Malta, Khin Ohmar, Chairperson of Progressive Voice, had the following to say:

We welcome the UN Security Council (UNSC) holding an open briefing on the intensifying crisis in Myanmar, which urgently needs the world’s attention and action to protect civilians and prevent further atrocities, including against the Rohingya.

We also welcome the Assistant Secretary General’s reference to the convening of the National Unity Consultative Council’s People’s Assembly, a critical component of Myanmar’s democratic resistance movement that is building federal democracy from the ground up for a new, inclusive, and peaceful Myanmar. We further appreciate that many UNSC members reflected civil society’s concerns, particularly on transnational crime in Myanmar endangering regional peace and security, as raised to UNSC members in a civil society open letter last month.

We are, nonetheless, extremely disappointed that the open briefing did not include the Myanmar representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun. The failure to include Myanmar people’s voices, represented by their Ambassador, at the table – in a discussion that concerns them as a matter of life and death – is an abject failure of the UNSC to address the crisis in accordance with its gravity, and demonstrates the UNSC’s disrespect for the Myanmar people’s steadfast democratic resistance movement.

We are further disappointed that members of the UNSC continue to defer its responsibility to address Myanmar’s crisis to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its failed Five-Point Consensus. This is despite repeated calls from civil society that ASEAN’s efforts over the last three years have been completely ineffective at ending the military junta’s war of terror against the people, including the humanitarian and human rights crisis it has caused, with resounding impacts on regional peace and stability.

Today, the military junta is intensifying its genocide against the Rohingya, escalating its violence through deadly airstrikes across Rakhine State and forced conscription of Rohingya to be used as human shields. The international community must assume its responsibility to protect the Rohingya and end the genocide against them, as well as take the lead in stopping the junta’s countrywide terror campaign against all of Myanmar’s people. We urge the UNSC members who called for accountability during the open briefing to ensure these calls are met with action to hold the military accountable for its international crimes.

To fulfill its mandate for international peace and security, the UNSC must urgently adopt a binding resolution under Chapter VII of the UN Charter that imposes targeted economic sanctions and a comprehensive arms and aviation fuel embargo against the military junta. This resolution must also refer the crisis in Myanmar to the International Criminal Court or establish a criminal prosecutorial body on Myanmar.

In the face of the UNSC’s failure to adopt such a resolution, we call on UN Member States to act swiftly and decisively and table the resolution at the UN General Assembly in the interest of urgently establishing a criminal prosecutorial body on Myanmar.

At the same time, as Myanmar’s junta-caused crisis worsens, the UNSC alongside the wider international community must ensure priority lifesaving assistance reaches the most vulnerable populations by directly supporting locally-led, frontline humanitarian responders across Myanmar through cross-border channels.

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