Delegation of the European Union to Syria

HRC 45 - Joint Statement at General Debate under Agenda Item 2

Geneva, 21/09/2020 - 09:14, UNIQUE ID: 200921_3
Statements on behalf of the EU

Thank you, Madam President.

I am speaking on behalf of Member States of the OIC and the EU, Australia, Iceland, Canada, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and the UK. The complete list of co-sponsors and full version of the statement will be uploaded in the extranet.

25th August marked three years since the Myanmar security forces launched a brutal campaign of systematic violence resulting in forced displacement of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya and other minorities. Once again, we condemn such heinous crimes and violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law in the strongest possible terms.

We appreciate the ongoing humanitarian efforts and commitments that the Government of Bangladesh, in cooperation with the UN agencies and international community, including all humanitarian actors, extended to those fleeing human rights violations and abuses in Myanmar.

We remain gravely concerned at continuing reports of serious human rights violations against the Rohingya and other minorities. Though considerable time has elapsed, regrettably, no decisive progress has been made by Myanmar in resolving the crisis, including ensuring accountability and justice for the victims. Even amid the COVID-19 pandemic, violence has rather been amplified with arbitrary arrests, detention, torture and killings.

We take note of the upcoming general election in November 2020 which could be an important step towards strengthening democratization in Myanmar and, therefore, participation of all persons, including the Rohingya and people from other minorities, in the election is imperative.

We urge Myanmar:

  • to immediately end all violence against the Rohingya and other minorities.
  •  to ensure an inclusive COVID-19 response to protect all persons and communities in line with international humanitarian law and human rights law, including the Rohingya and other minorities.
  • to immediately grant full and safe humanitarian access to all areas of violence and lift internet and media restrictions and shutdowns, and refrain from further cutting and weakening of internet access and the stifling of the rights to information, freedom of opinion and expression as well as assembly, in accordance with international human rights law. The full or partial internet shutdown in some townships of Rakhine and Chin State, which has been in place for a year now, also prevents access to critical COVID-19 related information.
  • to fully comply with the “provisional measures”, ordered by the International Court of Justice, including preventing commission of all acts of genocide against the Rohingya in its territory, and preventing the destruction of and ensuring the preservation of evidence. We remind Myanmar of its obligation to implement the Court’s order as per the international law.
  • to ensure full accountability and to end impunity for all violations of human rights by undertaking a full, transparent and independent investigation into reports of all violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law. 
  • to fully cooperate with all independent national, regional and international criminal justice and judicial mechanisms as well as with the United Nations and its relevant human rights mechanisms, including the Independent Mechanism for Myanmar as established by the UN Human Rights Council.
  • to ensure full and safe access to United Nations agencies, mandate holders and human rights mechanisms, including the Independent Mechanism for Myanmar in Rakhine State and other areas of violence in Myanmar.
  • to lift restrictions on the freedom of movement of the Rohingya and other minorities in Myanmar and guarantee their full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
  • to fully implement all recommendations of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State, including addressing the root causes of human rights violations and abuses against ethnic minorities, including the Rohingya, such as access to citizenship and voting rights of the Rohingya and other minorities for their unimpeded participation in the upcoming general elections, while allowing monitoring by international observers and the media.
  • to create a conducive environment in Myanmar, including by generating livelihood opportunities, for the safe, voluntary, dignified and sustainable return of the forcibly displaced Rohingya and other minorities.
  • to take concrete steps and cooperate with the Government of Bangladesh in commencing repatriation without further delay in line with the bilateral instruments on repatriation signed by Bangladesh and Myanmar in November 2017, including through the implementation of the memorandum of understanding signed by the Government of Myanmar, the United Nations Development Programme and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Thank you.

Editorial Sections: