The United Nations General Assembly did not call for a global arms embargo on the Burmese military, even as it took the rare step of urging member states to “prevent the influx of arms.” In the country ravaged by violence following the February 1 coup.
The resolution condemning the coup also demands that the military “immediately stop all violence against peaceful protesters.”
It was approved Friday by 119 countries, with 36 abstentions including China, Myanmar’s main ally. Only one country, Belarus, voted against. It has been sponsored by 50 countries.
“We must advocate for the protection of all basic human rights, including freedom of expression, access to information and peaceful assembly, which have been repeatedly violated by the military in Myanmar,” he said. said Turkish Volkan Bozkir, president of the 75th United Nations General Assembly. A declaration.
At the meeting, UN Special Envoy for Myanmar Christine Schraner Burgener also warned the 193-member body that “the risk of full-scale civil war is real” in the country.
” Hurry up. The opportunity to reverse the military takeover is shrinking, ”said Schraner Burgener after the General Assembly passed the non-binding resolution.
Hundreds of thousands of refugees are fleeing violence in the country following clashes between the military and ethnic groups.
The vote took place on the same day that Security Council held informal talks on situation in Southeast Asian country, where the military deposed civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi in February.
The resolution was not adopted by consensus, as had been hoped, but rather by a vote, forcing the 193 UN countries to reveal their point of view.
In an oddity of history, Myanmar’s envoy to the global body, Kyaw Moe Tun, voted in favor of the text. He passionately rejected the coup and dismissed military claims that he no longer represents Myanmar. The United Nations still considers him to be the legitimate envoy.
After the vote, the diplomat regretted that it took three months for the Assembly to adopt the resolution and that it was not more explicit on an arms embargo.
Among the countries that abstained were Russia, Mali – where a second military coup in less than a year recently took place, Iran, Egypt, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand.
The United Nations General Assembly very rarely passes resolutions condemning military coups or calling for limits on weapons supplied to the target country.
“This is the broadest and most universal condemnation of the situation in Myanmar to date,” said Olof Skoog, the European Union’s ambassador to the UN.
“The EU is proud of the resolution just adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. It sends a strong and powerful message. It delegitimizes the military junta, condemns its abuses and violence against its own people and demonstrates its isolation in the eyes of the world, ”he declared.
The resolution also calls for the restoration of democracy in Myanmar and the release of all detained civilian leaders.
“We absolutely must create the conditions for the restoration of democracy,” said UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres before the vote on the resolution, hoping for a “very clear message” from the General Assembly.
“Make the obvious”
He asks for the implementation of a five-point plan developed by ASEAN in April including the appointment of an envoy from the bloc.
The text also calls on the military to authorize the UN representative, Burgener, to visit the country, and to ensure the safe passage of humanitarian aid.
Burgener briefed the Security Council during its closed-door meeting on Myanmar on Friday. No joint declaration was adopted at the meeting due to persistent divisions among its members, diplomats told AFP.
We must raise our voices for those who have been silenced. We must advocate for the protection of all basic human rights, including freedom of expression, access to information and peaceful assembly, which have been repeatedly violated by the military in #Myanmar. pic.twitter.com/vbpSbjNo9A
– President of the UN GA (@UN_PGA) June 18, 2021
The Assembly resolution “calls on UN member states to make the obvious: stop providing arms to Myanmar,” Human Rights Watch said.
“Months of atrocities and serious human rights abuses by junta security forces have repeatedly shown why no government should hit them with a single bullet. The UN Security Council should now step in and pass its own resolution imposing a global arms embargo on Myanmar, ”said Louis Charbonneau, UN director at HRW.
The resolution is an opportunity “to show that the world stands in solidarity with the people of Myanmar, not the military” who “have committed horrific acts of violence against ordinary civilians,” said British Ambassador to the UN Barbara Woodward.
More than 860 civilians have been killed in Myanmar since the coup, according to the UN and the Association for the Assistance of Political Prisoners (AAPP).
Two people were killed on Friday when a military truck exploded in one of two explosions near an office of a military-backed political party in the country’s largest city, Yangon. Local media reported and a senior relief official said six more people were injured.
A huge fire was also reported in Monywa, the largest city in the Sagaing region, although the cause of the incident was not immediately determined.
# June18Coup Monywa, Sagaing
– Shafiur Rahman (fishafiur) June 18, 2021