Delegation of the European Union to the
UN and other international organisations in Geneva

HRC44 - Interactive Dialogue on the HC report on human rights situation of Rohingya people (S-27/1)

Geneva , 30/06/2020 - 00:00, UNIQUE ID: 200701_7
Statements on behalf of the EU

Madam President,

The EU thanks the High Commissioner for her oral update. This is the third and final oral update following the Special Session in 2017 with a view to reaching a comprehensive solution of the Rohingya crisis within three years through the full implementation of Council resolutions S-27/1 and 34/22.

The EU is concerned about the lack of solution of the crisis. It is essential to grant all persons belonging to the Rohingya community and other minorities freedom of movement and access to information and to fight all discrimination. We are distressed about the high level of fighting, increasing numbers of civilian casualties in violation of international humanitarian and human rights law and forced displacement occurring in Rakhine and Chin States where heavy fighting continues between the Arakan Army and the Myanmar military (Tatmadaw) despite the ceasefire that was declared following the call of the United Nations Secretary General. Calls for the political resolution of the conflict have so far remained unanswered by the parties concerned. The targeting and killing of civilian populations, including humanitarian workers, and reports about the burning of villages by the Myanmar military and the Arakan Army are unacceptable and must immediately come to an end. The recent report of the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict documents a sharp increase in the number of incidents of killing and maiming of children,[1] recruitment and use of children and attacks on schools, which are grave and very serious violations of the rights of the child. The EU urges all armed forces in Myanmar to urgently implement an unconditional ceasefire and recommit to an all-inclusive peace process. Root causes of the conflict must be addressed.

Amid the COVID-19 crisis, we also call on the Government of Myanmar to immediately grant full and safe humanitarian access to all conflict-affected areas and to lift any internet and media restrictions. The internet shutdown in some townships of Rakhine and Chin States, which has been in place for a year now, also prevents access to critical COVID-19 related information. Reports from across the country about arbitrary arrests, detentions of journalists and human rights defenders and intensified clampdown on freedom of expression are most worrying and must be halted.

There is advancement in the international efforts to ensure justice and accountability in Myanmar. In that respect, the EU takes note of the International Criminal Court authorization of the Prosecutor to investigate alleged crimes within the Court's jurisdiction and recalls the International Court of Justice’s order in the case lodged by The Gambia against Myanmar on the application of the Genocide Convention, which indicated provisional measures. The EU commends the Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar (IIMM) role in ensuring justice and accountability and calls upon all states to offer their full cooperation.

Madame High Commissioner,

  • Recent developments have shown how human rights mechanisms established by this Council do play a critical role in advancing accountability and fighting impunity. How should the Human Rights Council continue addressing the pertinent issue of accountability?

Thank you

[1] Report of the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict, 9 June 2020, para 132

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