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The Fifth European Union-Myanmar Human Rights Dialogue was held in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar on 14 June 2019, co-chaired by Eamon Gilmore, EU Special Representative for Human Rights, and U Kyaw Tin, Union Minister for International Cooperation of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar.
This meeting was also held in the context of the ongoing enhanced engagement regarding trade preferences provided to Myanmar under the EU’s Everything But Arms (EBA) arrangement. Discussions covered a wide range of human rights issues, including accountability for human rights violations, the situation in Rakhine, Kachin and Shan States, including humanitarian access, fundamental rights and freedoms, the needs of displaced persons, economic and social rights, migration and human rights cooperation in multilateral fora.
The EU reaffirmed its continuous strong support for Myanmar’s democratic transition, peace and national reconciliation process and inclusive socio-economic development. At the same time, both the EU and Myanmar agreed that this should go hand in hand with the strengthening of the rule of law and good governance, on the basis of shared values and international human rights standards.
The human rights dialogue offers an important platform for both sides to exchange experiences and to possibly strengthen cooperation in the area of human rights. In this regard, it was agreed to envisage further cooperation on existing and draft laws affecting freedom of expression and the fight against hate speech.
With regard to multilateral human rights issues, the EU welcomed the intention of the Government of Myanmar to sign and prepare for ratification of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict and ratification of the International Labour Convention 138 on the minimum working age, the latter in conjunction with the adoption of a new Child Rights Law in line with relevant international human rights standards. The EU invited Myanmar to cooperate with relevant UN mandates and procedures.
It was agreed that discussions will continue, including under the EBA enhanced engagement. The 6th Myanmar-EU Human Rights Dialogue will take place in Brussels during the first half of 2020.