International Community Urges Enhanced UN Role in Myanmar Conflict

Last Updated on May 25, 2024 5:18 pm

In a united call for action, Australia, Canada, the European Union, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States have collectively urged all nations to halt the flow of arms and military materials, including aviation fuel, to Myanmar. This appeal comes in response to the escalating humanitarian crisis following the February 2021 coup d’état.

The joint statement, issued by the US Department of State, highlights the worsening conflict and the profound impact on Myanmar’s civilian population. The humanitarian needs in the country have surged dramatically, with those in need rising from 1 million to 18.6 million people.

Credible reports detail severe violations and abuses against civilians, such as airstrikes on homes, schools, and hospitals, alongside instances of torture, the use of civilians as human shields, and sexual violence. The conflict has forced widespread displacement and severely restricted access to essential humanitarian aid.

In their statement, the concerned countries stressed the dire consequences of the military regime’s actions, including significant food and water shortages and restricted access to healthcare and essential services. Over 1,000 civilians were killed or injured by landmines in 2023, with the numbers continuing to grow.

The coalition also raised alarms about the regime’s enforcement of the 2010 conscription law, which exacerbates displacement and fuels identity-based violence. Specific attention was drawn to the situation in Rakhine State, where increased military activity has led to significant displacement, particularly in Buthidaung.

The international community has emphasized the need for accountability for the atrocities committed and highlighted the importance of adhering to the International Court of Justice’s provisional measures order to safeguard human rights. The countries welcomed the UN Security Council Resolution 2669 and called for an immediate end to all forms of violence, urging respect for human rights and unimpeded humanitarian access.

Furthermore, they supported the appointment of the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Myanmar and stressed the importance of coordinated efforts by ASEAN, the UN, and regional actors to resolve the crisis. They reiterated the need for enhanced UN leadership to navigate the ongoing conflict.

The joint statement also called for the release of all arbitrarily detained individuals and full implementation of the ASEAN Five Point Consensus. The signatories emphasized the necessity of creating space for inclusive dialogue to restore democracy in Myanmar.

Parallel to this, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights recently condemned the renewed violence in Rakhine state, particularly against the Rohingya community, reporting severe attacks and mass displacements. Recent clashes between the Myanmar military and the Arakan Army have forced tens of thousands, including around 45,000 Rohingya, to flee, seeking safety near the Bangladesh border.

The international community remains steadfast in supporting a peaceful, democratic future for Myanmar, underscoring the urgency of strengthened UN intervention and leadership in mitigating the ongoing crisis.

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