The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution in New York on Friday, which condemns Myanmar military’s use of lethal force and violence and supports the efforts by the Special Envoy and regional bloc, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
UN Special Envoy for Myanmar Christine Schraner Burgener said she has called for timely action from the Security Council in response to the on-going crisis in the Southeast Asian country stemming from the military coup in February.
Speaking to journalists following her closed-door briefing to the Council, Ms. Schraner Burgener described the situation in Myanmar as “very worrisome” and “very bad”.
The UN has 193 Member States and 119 voted in favour of the resolution while one, Belarus, voted against it, and 36 abstained.
Speaking ahead of the vote, General Assembly President Volkan Bozkir said countries have borne witness to the deteriorating situation in Myanmar.
“From the collapse of civilian rule, to arbitrary arrests, and indiscriminate attacks against civilians by the military, Myanmar is not a safe place for the people whom we have pledged to serve,” he said. “As a result of the deteriorating political situation, humanitarian needs are growing.”
Mr. Bozkir also drew attention to the broader impact of the crisis, which he said also affects the more than one million Rohingya refugees from Myanmar who have found shelter in Bangladesh.
Some 600 people have been killed in the nearly five months since the coup, and 6,000 arrested, with 5,000 still in detention. Around 100 people have “disappeared” without trace.
The crisis has uprooted some 175,000 people, which has added to internal displacement that existed before the military seized power and detained political leaders, including President U Win Myint and State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi. Roughly 10,000 refugees have fled to India and Thailand.
“I asked the Security Council for timely support and action; that it’s really paramount,” Ms. Schraner Burgener said. “We have an alarming situation on the ground for all civilian people because the health system collapsed completely, and food security is also in danger.”
She warned that around half the population could be living below the poverty line next year if the situation continues.
“I urged the Council to speak in unity and especially against violence, and also that the political prisoners will be released as quickly as possible,” she said.
Ms. Schraner Burgener further reported that violations have increased in Myanmar, while violence is occurring in regions where it had not occurred before.
She said violence has also emanated “from the ethnic armed organizations who were attacked also by airstrikes from the army, or keep people from other regions under their protection, and therefore I think it’s important that we have an all-inclusive dialogue with all stakeholders”.
“I am in contact with almost every ethnic armed organization to discuss how we can solve the overall problem in the country to find a peaceful solution. And I’m sure talking is always better than violence.” (Source: UN News)