NEW YORK: Strongly condemning the widespread violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, which has led to the displacement of over 600,000 members of the country’s minority Muslim Rohingya community, the United Nations Security Council has called on the Myanmar Government to end the use of excessive military force in the region.
In a statement read out by Sebastiano Cardi of Italy, the President of the Security Council for the month of November, the 15-member body also called on the Myanmar Government “to restore civilian administration and apply the rule of law, and to take immediate steps in accordance with the Government’s obligations and commitments to respect human rights, including the rights of women, children, and persons belonging to vulnerable groups, without discrimination and regardless of ethnicity, religion, or citizenship status.”
The Council also urged the Government to implement measures in line with its resolution 2106 (2013) to prevent and respond to incidents of sexual violence, and encouraged it to work with the Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict.
The Council also expressed concern over severely limited humanitarian access to the affected parts of the region and demanded that the Government ensure immediate, safe and unhindered access to UN and other humanitarian actors, and ensure the safety and security of humanitarian personnel.
In the Presidential Statement, the Security Council also welcomed the Myanmar’s decision to establish a “Union Enterprise Mechanism” and urged the Government to ensure that the Mechanism supported such return and allowed United Nations agencies full access.
Further, welcoming the Government’s support for recommendations by the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State and calling for their full implementation, the Council stressed the importance of transparent investigations into allegations of human rights abuses and violations, including sexual violence and abuse and violence against children, and of holding to account all those responsible for such acts.
“In this regard, the Security Council calls upon the Government of Myanmar to cooperate with all relevant United Nations bodies, mechanisms and instruments, in particular the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights,” added the Presidential statement.
Also in the Statement, the Council commended the provision of humanitarian assistance and support for dialogue by Bangladesh as well as other regional countries and organizations; and requested the Secretary-General to continue to engage with the Myanmar through good offices.
It also encouraged the UN chief “to consider, as appropriate, appointing a Special Adviser on Myanmar”.