49th Human Rights Council Reports

Report on Myanmar


Enhanced ID on SG report on Myanmar (Res. 46/21)

ID on HC report on Myanmar

All sources used to draft the reports on the 35th and 36th meetings can be found here and here. Report drafted by Sophie Bionaz on March 22nd, 2022.

Composition of the HRC

Enhanced ID on SG report on Myanmar (Res. 46/21)

Mr. Tamim Baiou, Vice-President of the Human Rights Council, opens the enhanced interactive dialogue on the report of the Secretary General on progress made in the implementation of follow-up action to enable more effective work and to strengthen the prevention capacity of the United Nations system in Myanmar. Submitted pursuant to the Council Resolution 46/21 entitled "Situation of human rights in Myanmar" .1

Resolution 46/21 invited the Secretary General to provide a written report with contributions from the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Myanmar, due to the HRC at its 49thsession and to be followed by an enhanced interactive dialogue with the participation of the Resident Coordinator. However, the position of the UN Resident Coordinator in Myanmar being vacant, the report has been presented by the Assistant Secretary General for the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific, Mr. Khaled Khiari.

Assistant Secretary General for the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific (Mr. Khaled Khiari) informs the Council on the initiatives and concrete actions taken by the Secretary General on the recommendations contained in Mr. Gert Rosenthal's report, an independent inquiry on the involvement of the UN in Myanmar from 2002 to 2018. Mr. Rosenthal's report was presented to the Secretary General in May 2019, then shared with all Member States and all its recommendations were accepted. While Rosenthal's inquiry shed light on how the system failed to ensure protection to the Rohingya people in Myanmar, his recommendations were meant to serve the entire international system.

The Secretary General launched a call to action for human rights, stressing that human rights are the responsibility of all UN actors and must be put at the heart of their actions. The reform suggested by the Secretary General included the rollout of the invigorated Resident Coordinator System at global, regional and country level. The reform also included a significant enhancement to the capacities of UNCTs (country teams) to conduct coordinated responses when addressing complex situations. The reform has transformed the way UNCTs respond to human rights issues on the ground, including prevention-related issues. The UN

1 https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/G21/074/28/PDF/G2107428.pdf?OpenElement

Cooperation Framework guidance requires UNCTs to identify in the Common Country Analyses (CCAs) multi-dimensional risks that could impact the development of a country, covering development, humanitarian, peacebuilding and human rights issues. The guidance also requires UNCTs to include country-related findings and the recommendations of the UPR and other human rights mechanisms as important basis for highlighting gaps and corresponding obligations. The reform has led to improvements on how governments perceive the Resident Coordinator (their recognition of leadership, impartiality and coordination capacity). The Secretary General noted in the report that it remains essential to ensure adequate financing for humanitarian development and peace actions.

Addressing the vice-president, Mr. Khiari affirms that Rosenthal's recommendations underline the need for greater coordination in the UN action and greater engagement with member states in the prevention of crises. The Secretary General stated that cooperation with regional organisations, including peace resolution, mediation, peace building, peacekeeping and humanitarian assistance, remains a priority for the United Nations.

Mr. Rosenthal's review concluded that there are failures which impede the UN response to the deteriorating situation in Myanmar. Despite this, the UN took a series of initiatives to ensure the promotion and protection of human rights under the leadership of the Resident Coordinator, the Humanitarian Coordinator and the UN country team. Following the military takeover on 1 February 2021, the UN has remained committed to humanitarian assistance and priority development needs at local level. There has also been greater interaction between intergovernmental organisations and with the Human Rights Council. More progress can be made to mainstream human rights into the work of those bodies. Mr. Khiari concludes by saying that the UN will commit to use its mandate, resources and authority to encourage those responsible for protection to live up to their responsibility.

Statements by States and international organisations

The European Union (EU) welcomes the efforts made by the Secretary General to implement Rosenthal's recommendations. It agrees that it is imperative to ensure an approach involving all parts of the UN system to respond to human rights crises. The EU looks forward to the prompt appointment of the Resident Coordinator for Myanmar and stresses the importance of placing human rights at the centre of the UN action. The EU calls to draw the Security Council attention to the situation in Myanmar and strongly supports ASEAN's efforts towards a peaceful solution to the crisis. The EU asks the Assistant Secretary General to elaborate on how the Council can contribute to strengthening the system-wide coherence to ensure long-term prevention, early warning and early response to the human rights crisis.

Estonia, on behalf of the Nordic Baltic countries, welcomes the implementation of recommendations on the involvement of the UN in Myanmar. Deeply concerned about the deterioration of the situation in Myanmar, Estonia strongly condemns the military coup and calls on the military to release all those arbitrarily detained and to ensure full respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. Estonia also underlines the need to ensure protection of civilians and vulnerable persons; to participate in a constructive dialogue in

order to restore peace; and to secure humanitarian access. To this regard, it recognises the importance of neighbouring countries in supporting humanitarian efforts. The country suggests that the responsible must be held accountable for their actions and encourages the UN to fill key positions in the country team in Myanmar to intensify coordination. Estonia asks what to do to enhance the access of UN bodies to all areas of Myanmar.

Pakistan, on behalf of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), laments that the UN could not stop, mitigate or draw attention to the human rights abuses and crimes committed against the Rohingya people, in particular the mass atrocities in 2017, and deplores some UN entities in Myanmar that did not cooperate with the investigation process. Pakistan emphasises the role of accountability to prevent serious violations of international law. It calls for the international community to bring an end to all human rights abuses, promote fundamental rights and ensure justice and accountability. Pakistan regrets that Myanmar continues to not cooperate with the international community and the UN. In its opinion, the absence of Myanmar's political commitment has prevented dialogue and the return of displaced Rohingya from Bangladesh. Pakistan urges Myanmar to fully cooperate with the UN, including the Special Rapporteur, the Special Envoy and the Independent Mechanism for Myanmar.

Malaysia is deeply concerned about the situation of violence in Myanmar and stands closely with the UN Secretary General, the Special Envoy, ASEAN and the international community to find a long-term peaceful solution. Pleased to know that the Special Envoy has engaged with regional organisations, including ASEAN, the EU and the OIC, it believes that such engagements are useful to complement the efforts of the UN. Malaysia appreciates the inclusion of the issue of the Rohingya refugees in the discussion as well as the support of the UN for ASEAN'S constructive role in addressing the situation based on their Five-points consensus. Finally, Malaysia encourages the UN to work together with ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance.

France refers to the initiatives undertaken by the UN country team in Myanmar since 2019 to ensure protection of human rights, but points out the multiple obstacles posed by the military. It mentions how the human rights and humanitarian situation in Myanmar are deteriorating since the coup d'état and how the fundamental rights of the population are not ensured, provoking a movement of people fleeing violence. According to France, it is essential that the UN have complete access to provide humanitarian aid, medicine and medical supplies without having to pass through facilities controlled by the military.

The Russian Federation requests the international community to contribute to normalise the situation in Myanmar and not put sanctions or pressure. Russia supports the efforts made by ASEAN member states in the mediation, but does not support the attempts of certain countries to use multilateral arenas to politicise the Myanmar issue. The Russian Federation calls to refrain from actions that lead to polarising political forces and to make choices in favour of a substantive dialogue. In its view, it is not constructive to arbitrarily interpret the internal political situation in Myanmar, since such an attempt creates contradictions and undermines efforts for international assistance.

Indonesia expresses its wish to see meaningful progress in Myanmar. While highlighting that it is the duty of the state to protect human rights, it stresses that the Council should use its mandate to assess efforts to improve the situation of human rights in Myanmar. Indonesia then urges Myanmar to cease hostilities and implement the Five-points consensus for an inclusive and peaceful solution. Indonesia acknowledges the progress in the Secretary General's report, appreciates the efforts of various UN bodies to provide humanitarian assistance and encourage greater coordination within ASEAN and member countries, and underlines the importance of advocacy and the improvement of information gathering, analysis and dissemination. It asks the Assistant Secretary General what measures should be taken to enhance coherence of functions and intergovernmental engagement to help further open the path of dialogue towards a peaceful solution.

Australia recalls that human rights must be at the forefront of the UN engagement in Myanmar and across the globe. Australia welcomes the Secretary General call to action for human rights and the initiative to respond practically to the recommendations. In addition, it supports systemic UN reforms and promotes coherent action to prevent violence. Australia works closely with partners delivering humanitarian assistance and thus calls on Myanmar military to allow access for the delivery of humanitarian aid. It also commends the work of the Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar, crucial for achieving accountability for crimes and violations of international law. Australia asks how it is possible to support the UN to enhance efforts to prevent violence and conflict and to ensure accountability.

Bangladesh deplores the UN failure to protect the Rohingya from genocide. In its opinion, the Security Council bears the major responsibility of finding a solution to the Myanmar crisis. Bangladesh calls for the Security Council to establish justice and accountability mechanisms which may help expedite the repatriation of forcibly displaced Rohingyas from Bangladesh to Myanmar and calls on the international community to pressure Myanmar for resolving the crisis. In addition, the country urges the UN to take actions oriented to protect the Rohingya in Myanmar, implementing the recommendations and observations contained in the report. Finally, it requests the Secretary General to follow the issue until a solution is achieved.

The United States of America shows its concerns about the escalation of violence and the humanitarian crisis. The country condemns the military human rights abuses (including the excessive use of force and air strikes). The US is troubled by the reporting of detention, torture, killing of journalists, and information access restrictions. It is also concerned about the military crackdown on media, which deprives people of life-saving information, especially during Covid19, and about the actions directed against healthcare facilities and personnel, which exacerbates the humanitarian crisis and the pandemic. The crisis requires more attention by all Member States and the Security Council to pressure the military to cease the violations, release those unjustly detained, allow unhindered human access, and restore a democratic transition, including by imposing an arms embargo on the military and ensuring justice and accountability. The country representative asks what actions can be taken by member states and the UN to hold the Myanmar military accountable.

The United Kingdom welcomes the appointment of a new Special Envoy. The UK regrets the rapid deterioration in the human rights context since Rosenthal's report was first published. Shocked by the reports of atrocities by the military against civilians, it identifies the response of the government of Myanmar as a lesson for the UN system to deal with crises in future. The UK points out the importance of the Human Rights Up Front Initiative in placing human rights at the heart of the United Nations. The country asks how the international community can better respond to the risk of further mass atrocities in Myanmar.

Thailand appreciates the report of the Secretary General and follows with concern the developments, including that on human rights. Since the situation is complex, deep rooted in history, and with many problems, the Myanmar healing process will take time. Thailand insists on the continued engagement of the UN. Humanitarian assistance must be the priority and not be politicised. Thailand hopes to use the opportunity to coordinate efforts and enhance provisions of assistance by partners. The country supports and encourages the UN Special Envoy to work closely with ASEAN Special Envoy in order to implement the ASEAN Five-points consensus.

The Philippines reminds that the report asks for a UN system more collaborative, accountable and present on the ground. The delegation suggests integrating the human rights mandate in the context of the SDGs and the peace and security agenda. From their experience during and after their civil conflict, mandates imposed on states have little practical value on the ground. The Philippines recognizes steps taken by the Myanmar country team to tackle inefficiencies in the UN approach and welcome community work to address the humanitarian situation despite the complicated reality. The country thanks the Envoy for the collaboration with local entities and calls for support for a more visible and enhanced ASEAN, including through humanitarian assistance and political dialogue in Myanmar.

Gambia welcomes the Secretary General's call to action for human rights and stresses the need to prioritise mainstreaming human rights through all UN activities. The country agrees with the need to ensure system-wide coherence and commitment around fundamental human rights principles. It asks the Assistant Secretary General what tangible improvements have been made in the UN country team in Myanmar since the Rosenthal report.

The Assistant Secretary General for the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific, Mr. Khaled Khiari (answers questions)

Mr. Khiari shares the concern of many delegations about the deterioration of the conflict, the violence and human rights abuses. He states that the UN is facing operational challenges that impede the delivery of aid as wished and expected, but that it is trying to do its best to reach to the vulnerable population through the Humanitarian Coordinator and a pragmatic approach.

The question of accountability: what could the international community do? The High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Special Rapporteur have presented reports that include strong recommendations. The OHCHR works on reporting on Myanmar human rights violations through remote monitoring. The Independent International Mechanism for

Myanmar collects, consolidates and preserves evidence of the most serious violations of international law. There are as well proceedings of the ICJ and ICC ongoing, calling on member states to cooperate and exercise universal jurisdiction through their national courts.

How can the international community respond to the risk of violence, conflict and mass atrocities? The responsibility of prevention rests with Member States. Secretary General Guterres has the challenge to do everything possible to help countries in times of crisis. The human rights system is the best prevention tool the UN has and a critical foundation for peace. The Secretary General calls for action for human rights, stating that there is no better guarantee of prevention than for member states to meet their human rights responsibilities. The common agenda provides a system to ensure that human rights are at the centre of their efforts. Mr. Khiari calls upon a full support by member states, stakeholders and the civil society.

What steps have been taken to implement the Secretary General call to action? On the country level, the recognition of the unique challenge. The aim of the call to action is to provide a country level leadership support strengthening the inclusion of human rights in analysis, programming and advocacy. It is important that the whole system works together.

How to ensure access to all UN bodies and international mechanisms? The de facto authority in Myanmar has maintained a negative approach to allowing human rights bodies access to the country by concerns of gathering evidence of what is going on. The regime of travel authorisations is a concern for humanitarian actors, allowing only a limited access to the territory. There are ongoing discussions with de facto authorities to solve these issues.

How can the HRC contribute? The initiative has signalled the importance of the Human Rights Council in working in all pillars of prevention of human rights violations to support a peace solution and the implementation of the SDGs. Important contributions of the HRC are regular inspection sessions, its investigative work, special procedures and the UPR.

How to further a path of dialogue? The engagement of intergovernmental bodies is critical for a peaceful resolution of the crisis. The Security Council can enhance coherence, humanitarian access, dialogue and respect for human rights. The Special Envoy in Myanmar has engaged closely with member states and regional organisations including ASEAN, the EU and the IOC.

Question by Gambia: what tangible improvements have been made in the UN country team in Myanmar since the Rosenthal report? The most significant improvement is that the human rights attachment by the country team has been moving to the mainstream. The country team has become an advocate of human rights issues. The Coordinator has even issued 10 public statements and 40 social media posts related to human rights and humanitarian access.

The Assistant Secretary General for the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific, Mr. Khaled Khiari, concludes the session by claiming that it is important that the UN system works in a coordinated way for the people it is serving.

ID on HC report on Myanmar (res. 46/21)

Ambassador Federico Villegas, President of the Human Rights Council, opens the 36th meeting of the 49thsession of the Human Rights Council, announcing the beginning of the interactive dialogue with the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Michelle Bachelet, on the report mandated in resolution 46/21 to monitor and assess the overall situation of human rights in Myanmar, with a particular focus on accountability regarding alleged violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law, as well as rule of law and security sector reform since 1 February 2021, with the support of specialist experts and in complementarity to the work of the Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar.

High Commissioner for Human Rights (Ms. Michelle Bachelet) begins her introductory speech referring to the people of Myanmar and the profound crisis due to the conflict. The humanitarian crisis continues to expand and Myanmar is at risk of state collapse, with the economic, social, educational and health systems at risk. Ms. Bachelet predicts that food scarcity will increase, and that the combination of the coup d'état and the pandemic could force half of the population into poverty. The military has met the peaceful protests with violence and force, arbitrary arrests, torture and harsh repression to the right of freedom and peaceful assembly, expression and information (e.g. internet access). She reminds that the conflict has already caused the death of over 1,600 individuals (of which 350 in military custody); that half a million were forced to flee their homes; and over 170,000 people were displaced.

The military has used punishment, house arrests, persecutions and torture against the local community. The WHO has recorded at least 286 attacks on healthcare facilities and personnel since February 2021. Military operations rely on shelling and air strikes, even in populated areas. Concerned about the safety of human rights defenders and other civil society actors, underlining how the Rohingya remaining in Myanmar are denied freedom of movement and access to services, Ms. Bachelet asserts that accountability remains crucial, as now the military power relies on impunity. She also stresses the need for a political pathway to restore democracy and urges stronger efforts to advance tangible results from ASEAN's Five-points consensus.

Statements by States and international organisations

The European Union (EU) shares concern about the violence in Myanmar, marked by brutal repression with civilians being targeted and killed by the military. The EU condemns human rights violations and abuses across the country, stressing the need to restore democracy. It is also imperative that the ASEAN Five-points consensus be implemented. The EU calls for the military to stop the attacks and show free humanitarian access to ensure the basic rights to food, health, education and work. Concerned about the human rights situation of the Rohingya and violations against them, the EU is determined to show that perpetrators of

human rights violations are held accountable and supports the work of the ICC. The EU delegation asks the High Commissioner how the Human Rights Council is contributing to take immediate measures to stem the spiral of violence in Myanmar, as mentioned in the report.

Pakistan, on behalf of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) expresses its concern that the Rohingya continue to be victims of human rights violations and abuses, denouncing that systemic discrimination undermines their fundamental rights. Pakistan supports all international justice and jurisdictional mechanisms, including the ICJ and the Independent Mechanism for Myanmar. The OIC urges Myanmar to stop human rights violations on all Myanmar people, particularly the Rohingya Muslims, comply with international judicial and accountability mechanisms, implement the recommendations of the Advisory Commission, and enable the repatriation of Rohingya from Bangladesh. Pakistan asks the High Commissioner to play an active role in the solution of the crisis, by advocating the return of forcibly displaced Rohingya.

Lithuania, on behalf of the Nordic Baltic countries, supports the work of the High Commissioner and her Office. Lithuania condemns the military coup and reiterates the call on the military to respect human rights and the democratic wishes of the people. It expresses concern about the increasing violence and repression in the country and calls on the leadership to end all forms of violence including sexual and gender-based violence, release all those arbitrarily detained, end discrimination of persons belonging to ethnic and religious minorities, and fully respect and protect human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law. The country urges accountability in order to end impunity and urges Myanmar to cooperate with UN human rights and international mechanisms. Lithuania supports the efforts of the ASEAN Special Envoy and UN Special Envoy to find a peaceful solution to the crisis. The Lithuanian Representative asks how to address the consequences of the brutal repression by ensuring protection of civilians, accountability and redress for the victims.

Canada reminds that the growing violence has accentuated the tragedy of the Rohingya people. The country calls to stop the violence, liberate detained people and demands complete access to humanitarian aid in the whole country. Canada affirms that the violations of human rights since the coup d'état are linked to the supply of weapons to Myanmar. According to resolution 75/287 of the General Assembly, all member states are asked to stop selling or transferring arms, military supplies or technical assistance to Myanmar. Canada calls on the Independent Mechanism for Myanmar to provide information on these violations and asks the High Commissioner how the international community can prioritise Myanmar and draw attention to the human rights violations in order to prevent them.

Germany aligns with the EU statement. The country condemns the military coup and calls for the cessation of violence and the return to democracy. Germany calls on the military and security forces to respect human rights, including those of the Rohingya, and to release all political prisoners. It also calls for a peaceful solution based on the ASEAN Five-points consensus. Germany reaffirms its support for the efforts made by ASEAN and the UN,

including the Special Envoys, Special Rapporteurs, and the Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar. Germany calls on all members to stop delivering weapons to Myanmar. The German delegation asks for information about the current situation of women and children in Myanmar, and what can be done to enhance the protection of civilians.

Malaysia reiterates the importance of an inclusive and constructive dialogue to find a solution to the Myanmar crisis. The safety and well-being of the people remains a priority. Malaysia calls for the cessation of violence and for an unrestricted access for humanitarian assistance. Malaysia supports Myanmar in upholding the values of democracy, respect for human rights, good governance and the rule of law, in line with ASEAN's Five-points consensus. As a close neighbour and member of ASEAN, Malaysia hopes to see Myanmar's return to democracy. The country expresses its concern about the situation of the Rohingya, reiterating the necessity to ensure accountability and end impunity. As home of more than 200,000 Rohingya refugees, Malaysia asks the authorities in Myanmar to address the root causes of the current crisis and allow voluntary repatriation. Malaysia finally asks the High Commissioner to share advice on how the international community can intensify efforts to assist the Rohingya refugees.

Luxembourg aligns with the EU statement. Deeply concerned by the crimes against humanity and violations of human rights committed by the military, Luxembourg calls on the de facto authorities to cooperate with international UN mechanisms and to stop acts against international workers. Luxembourg asks for full cooperation with the ICJ and ICC and calls for stopping violence against civilians, freeing political detainees and leaving access for humanitarian aid. The country asks all states to stop giving weapons to Myanmar and work on the Five-points consensus. The delegation asks how the Human Rights Council can contribute to ameliorate the human rights situation on the ground.

Vietnam calls for a peaceful and durable solution to the crisis, underlining the importance of an immediate cessation of violence and a safe delivery of humanitarian assistance. Vietnam is committed to work with the ASEAN Chair and member countries to implement the Five-points consensus on Myanmar and hopes that the authorities will continue a constructive engagement with the Special Envoy of ASEAN. Vietnam emphasises and calls for support from external partners on the Myanmar issue.

China regrets that Myanmar is unable to participate in the dialogue. China supports a political solution within the framework of the Constitution and laws, through dialogue and consultation to restore social stability and democracy. The country supports ASEAN to properly handle the issue and implement the Five-points consensus. China expresses its support for Cambodia, the rotating Chair of ASEAN, and asks Myanmar to create a favourable environment for the work of the Special Envoy. According to China, it is the responsibility of Myanmar itself to properly solve the problem, affirming that external pressure will only be counterproductive.

Spain aligns with the EU statement. The country deplores the fact that the imposition of the military junta remains unpunished and that the persecution of minorities (especially the

Rohingyas) is putting at risk the security of the whole region. Discrimination, the stripping of nationality, restrictions to the freedom of movement and access to services (health and education) are aggravating. Spain calls for the cessation of all discrimination against minorities and for the condemnation of human rights violations, persecution and arbitrary detention, torture, killings and forced disappearances by the military and security forces. Also worrying are the violations against civil society, dissidents and members of opposition platforms such as the National Unity Government, or human rights defenders. Spain urges Myanmar to cooperate with international mechanisms.

The Netherlands aligns with the EU statement. The country is alarmed by the report of the High Commissioner, the spiral of violence in Myanmar and the brutal repressions of those opposed to the military rule, speaking of a human rights catastrophe. The delegation thanks the Office of the High Commissioner for the efforts made for gathering credible information, even without access to the country. It is crucial to document human rights violations and to hold perpetrators accountable. The Netherlands calls for cooperation with all UN mandate holders and for the full access for humanitarian organisations to Myanmar, in order to reach to all people in need. The delegation mentions that the actions taken by the international community have limited impact on the ground and asks the High Commissioner how to contribute to a transitional justice and a meaningful dialogue for the future of Myanmar.

The Russian Federation expresses its concern about the extremist mindset of the Myanmar position and disapproves the use of IEDs against civil servants and local administration. The country is also alarmed by the increased activities of armed ethnic groups which attack military infrastructure and police units and affirms that the declaration by the self-proclaimed National Unity Government about the beginning of uprisings may exacerbate the situation and trigger further violence. Russia considers the intention to complete the preparations for new elections by August 2023 to be a stabilising fact bringing some stability. The international community must provide support to the implementation of agreements between Myanmar and Bangladesh on the question of repatriation of refugees. The country suggests that the interactive dialogue should only take place with the presence of the concerned country.

Cambodia mentions the steps forward made by ASEAN and its Five-points consensus. The positive outcomes are the extension of the ceasefire until the end of 2022, the support for the Special Envoy of the Asian Chair to meet all parties, the facilitation of a meeting for a safe, inclusive and non-discriminatory delivery of humanitarian assistance (including Covid vaccines). According to Cambodia, among the priorities are the cessation of violence, delivery of humanitarian assistance, and the creation of an environment enabling a political dialogue. The country wants to share its experience resulting from their civil war and suggests that the political process be Myanmar-owned and Myanmar-led.

Indonesia encourages all parties to stop violence and protect and promote human rights within state territory. The country urges Myanmar to implement the Five-points consensus, including to provide ASEAN Special Envoy access to conduct his mission. Indonesia supports the role of ASEAN in providing humanitarian assistance and promoting sustainable development, as well as enabling the voluntary return of displaced persons. Indonesia

stresses the need for Myanmar to create favourable conditions for dialogue and negotiations in accordance with the will of the people. Support from the Council and its mechanisms for ASEAN efforts should be strengthened.

Australia urges the military to cease violence, release all those arbitrarily detained and engage in an inclusive dialogue towards democracy. The country supports ASEAN's leadership and efforts of the Special Envoy to resolve the crisis. Australia urges the military to honour their commitment to ASEAN leaders to implement the Five-points consensus and to engage with the UN Special Envoy. The Australian delegation asks how they can support international efforts to prevent further violence and human rights violations.

Mauritania shares its concerns about the rights of minorities, which are facing frequent violations of human rights and are victims of crimes violating international humanitarian law. The country also expresses its concern on the degradation of the political situation and suffering of the Rohingya minority, which impedes the right to freedom of movement, access to healthcare and education. Mauritania calls upon the authorities to permit humanitarian assistance with no impediment and urges them to lift all arbitrary restrictions and enable the safe return of displaced people.

Bangladesh states that the report fails to fully reflect the human rights situation of the Rohingya, requesting the High Commissioner and her Office to continue focusing on these people. Bangladesh has welcomed many Rohingya refugees despite their resources constraints and affirms that it has lived up to its responsibilities. Bangladesh has provided a temporary shelter for refugees, but Myanmar itself must create the conditions for return.

Romania expresses support for UN and ASEAN mechanisms and processes. The country encourages efforts by all parties and the international community in identifying a peaceful political solution. The military targeting of civilians, as well as gender-based violence and attacks on human rights defenders, civil society, women and children, healthcare professionals, journalists and media workers must stop. Romania underlines the importance to end arms transfer to Myanmar and reiterates its support for Myanmar people to fight for a democratic future.

The United Kingdom affirms that the political, economic and humanitarian crisis must stop. The UK condemns the targeting of civilians, including humanitarian workers and civilian infrastructure, as well as the military regime and their human rights violations against Rohingya and other minorities. Humanitarian assistance and access to vulnerable people must be guaranteed. The UK stresses the need to eliminate statelessness and systematic discrimination against minorities, adding that it is crucial to reform the 1992 Citizenship Law. The United Kingdom asks what to do to ensure that people are able to express their political opinion without fear of threat or violence.

The Lao People's Democratic Republic reiterates the importance of maintaining peace and stability in ASEAN. Laos supports the role of ASEAN and its Chair, Cambodia, to work with Myanmar to implement the Five-points consensus. Laos affirms that the participation of the

concerned country in the interactive dialogue of the Human Rights Council is crucial and that the international community should help achieve a sustainable and peaceful settlement.

Bulgaria aligns with the EU statement. The country is worried about human rights violations, including attacks by security forces with heavy weapons against populated areas and the detention of women and children and internally displaced persons, urging for the voluntary and safe return of refugees. Bulgaria is also concerned about the use of force in peaceful assemblies and condemns attacks against healthcare personnel. Bulgaria calls for the cessation of violence, enforced disappearances, torture, and persecution. It reiterates the need to restore the rule of law and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. The country calls for the implementation of ASEAN's Five-points consensus and focuses on the importance of granting access to UN special procedures and humanitarian organisations, including the Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar.

India, as a country sharing a long border with Myanmar, expresses its interest in seeing the return to democracy, the release of detainees and prisoners, and the resolution of issues through dialogue. India condemns all forms of violence. The country has invested in the democratic process in Myanmar since 2011, working to develop capacities and democratic practices (through constitutionalism and federalism) and gifting 1 million doses of Covid vaccines to the Myanmar Red Cross Society. India reiterates its support for the ASEAN Five-points consensus and the issue of repatriation of forcibly displaced people in support of the government of Bangladesh.

Switzerland incites the military to work with the Special Envoy. Switzerland expresses its concern about the violence against civilians, including air strikes and mass atrocities, and the violations of international law that can amount to crimes against humanity and war crimes. The country underlines the need to lead reliable, transparent, independent and impartial enquiries. It calls on the military to respect the obligations under international law, to cooperate with international mechanisms, stop violence, guarantee humanitarian access and engage in dialogue. Switzerland asks the High Commissioner how all the international mechanisms can better interact between them.

Gambia condemns the military's brutal repression of civilians, whereby over 1,600 individuals have been killed and thousands arbitrarily arrested or tortured for exercising their right of free expression and political participation. Gambia reminds that the human rights situation for the Rohingya has not improved and the junta keeps enjoying impunity. Gambia has brought Myanmar to the ICJ to hold it accountable for genocide, hoping this will end violence. The country asks what else must be done to stop the downward spiral of violence and impunity in Myanmar.

Saudi Arabia expresses its concern about the situation of Muslims, Rohingyas and other minorities. It condemns the violations of human rights of the Muslims in Myanmar, their persecution, the destruction of mosques and the fact that Muslims have been forced to flee the country. Saudi Arabia reaffirms its support for all minorities and urges the return of displaced people to their country of origin. Finally, Saudi Arabia calls upon the international community to deal with the root causes of the crisis and take measures for a rapid solution.

Turkey is concerned by the security and humanitarian situation in Myanmar after the military coup. The violence has caused the death of many people, including women and children. The coup d'état resulted in the collapse of the healthcare and educational system. Turkey expresses its concern that refugees and displaced persons are unable to enjoy their right to return, to seek justice and compensation for past violations. The country is also worried that, unless injustice and the rule of the military are lifted, the human rights situation of the Rohingya can further deteriorate. The international community should play a more active and constructive role.

France deplores the grave human rights and international humanitarian law violations that are ongoing in total impunity. France is concerned about the increasing violence, crimes, persecution against civilians, extrajudicial killings, arbitrary detentions and attacks against human rights defenders and minorities. The country demands the liberation of prisoners and calls for the suspension of the state of emergency. France also supports ASEAN's act to implement a political dialogue.

The President gives the floor to the High Commissioner for concluding remarks.

The High Commissioner (Ms. Michelle Bachelet) answers questions. Ms. Bachelet expresses her concern about the violence against people and has observed Tatmadaw's increased reliance on heavy weapons and brutal tactics. She points out that villages are raised to the ground, and women and LGBT persons in detention are experience degrading treatments (including torture and sexual assaults). Also children have been detained, of which 100 are being prosecuted in military tribunals where they might be sentenced to death. On the other hand, there are also targeted killings of military affiliates and explosions occurring close to military structures.

The key steps needed to end the crisis have already been identified:

1) Stop military acts of violence and repression

2) Ensure full humanitarian access to those in need

3) Release detainees, including political leaders

4) Restore democracy.

A great responsibility was placed on ASEAN to lead this process. The High Commissioner's report provided recommendations to assist people, including:

1) Protect all individuals who cross international borders

2) Support international efforts to hold the military accountable

3) Prevent the supply of arms and revenues to the military and apply targeted sanctions on their economic interests

4) Encourage businesses operating in Myanmar to cease working with military linkages 5) Inform and involve all stakeholders.

About the humanitarian situation: the complete breakdown of the national social protection system has had severe impacts on people's social and economic rights. Half of Myanmar's population is falling into poverty, prices of essential commodities have surged and the cost of import has increased significantly. Also the public healthcare and education

systems are collapsing. Women teachers and health professionals have fear of being the target of suppression. The paralysis of the garment sector has left thousands of women without a job and exposed to exploitation. Ms. Bachelet encourages the efforts by ASEAN to establish a humanitarian platform and recommends involvement of civil society and humanitarian organisations. It is also important to increase cross-border assistance and channel aid.

To advance protection, accountability and redress for victims: the High Commissioner calls for accountability for serious human rights violations and international crimes, not only for justice for the victims but also as a precondition for a sustainable future for the country. At national level, there has been no investigations or prosecutions of soldiers for their violations. The National Unity Government Ministry of Defence has announced a central commission of enquiry into military crimes and seeks to collaborate with international justice efforts. A transnational justice process is needed to recognise the rights of the victims. At international level, some progress has been made: the ICC is advancing investigation and there are proceedings at the ICJ. The Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar is also supporting this and other accountability processes in accordance with international standards. The High Commissioner Office engages with relevant actors: the Investigative Mechanism, Special Rapporteur and other institutions. Ms. Bachelet concludes that there will be no sustainable solution unless these key issues can be addressed.


Cultural Diversity and Sustainable Development for Peace