© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Myanmar citizens living in Thailand, hold a portrait of former Myanmar state adviser Aung San Suu Kyi as they protest against the execution of democracy activists, at the Myanmar embassy in Bangkok, Thailand July 26, 2022. REUTERS/Soe Zey
By Michelle Nichols
United Nations (Reuters) – The United Nations Security Council adopted its first resolution on Myanmar in 74 years on Wednesday to demand an end to violence and urge the military junta to release all prisoners. political prisoners, including deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
Myanmar has been in crisis since the military took power from Suu Kyi’s elected government on February 1, 2021, detaining her and other officials and responding to pro-democracy protests and dissent by lethal force.
“We sent a firm message to the military today that they should have no doubts – we hope this resolution will be fully implemented,” said British Ambassador to the United Nations Barbara Barbara. wood direction (NASDAQ:) said after the vote on the British-drafted resolution.
“We have also sent a clear message to the people of Myanmar that we seek progress that is in line with their rights, desires and interests,” Woodward told the 15-member panel.
There has long been a split over how to handle the Myanmar crisis, with China and Russia arguing over strong action. Both abstained on Wednesday, along with India. The remaining 12 members voted in favor.
“China still has concerns,” China’s Ambassador to the United Nations Zhang Jun told the council after the vote. “There is no quick solution to the problem… Whether it can be properly and ultimately resolved, fundamentally and solely, depends on Myanmar itself.”
He said China wants the Security Council to adopt an official statement on Myanmar, not a resolution.
Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia said Moscow does not consider the situation in Myanmar a threat to international peace and security and therefore believes that the UN Security Council should not deal with the issue. .
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken welcomed the adoption of the resolution. “This is an important step by the Security Council to resolve the crisis and end the escalating and violent repression of the Burmese military regime against civilians,” he said in a statement.
So far, the council has only agreed to official statements about Myanmar, where the military also led a 2017 crackdown on Rohingya Muslims that the United States describes as genocide. Myanmar denies genocide and says it is conducting a legitimate campaign against insurgents who have attacked police stations.
Negotiations on the draft Security Council resolution began in September. The original text – seen by Reuters – called for an end to arms transfers to Myanmar and threatened sanctions, but that wording was later deleted.
The adopted resolution expressed “deep concern” at the continued state of emergency imposed by the military when it took power and its “serious impact” on the people of Myanmar.
It called for “concrete and immediate actions” to implement the peace plan agreed upon by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and made a call to “maintain the institutions and democratic process and to pursue constructive dialogue and reconciliation in accordance with the will and interests of nations”. people”.
The only other resolution adopted by the Security Council was in 1948, when it asked the United Nations General Assembly to recognize Myanmar – then Burma – as a member of the world body. .
Myanmar’s UN Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun, who retains her seat at the United Nations and represents Suu Kyi’s government, said that despite the positive elements in the resolution, the Government of National Reunification – including remnants of the toppled administration – would have wanted a stronger text.
“We are clear this is just the first step,” he told reporters. “The Government of National Unity calls on the UNSC (building) on this resolution to take even stronger action to ensure an end to the military junta and its crimes.”