European Union Election Observation Mission
Ghana, 2016

HRC44- Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Myanmar - EU Intervention

Geneva, 13/07/2020 - 18:23, UNIQUE ID: 200713_15
Statements on behalf of the EU

Madam President,

The European Union would like to thank the Special Rapporteur for his oral progress report.

The EU attaches critical importance to the mandate and we call on the Government of Myanmar to resume its cooperation with the Special Rapporteur mandate and to grant immediate and unrestricted access.

It is most concerning how we continuously receive reports of civilian casualties, including children, in violation of international humanitarian and human rights law occurring in Rakhine and Chin States. Reports of violence and fighting in Kachin and Shan States are also of concern. Clearance operations, forced displacement of civilians, destruction and burning of villages are unacceptable and contrary to international humanitarian law. We are receiving distressing reports from across Myanmar about arbitrary arrests, torture, detentions of journalists and human rights defenders and intensified clampdown on freedom of expression. This must be halted immediately.

The EU urges all armed forces in Myanmar to urgently implement an unconditional ceasefire and commit to an all-inclusive peace process. 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 and shutdowns.

 

Following the International Court of Justice’s order in the case lodged by The Gambia against Myanmar on the application of the Genocide Convention, it is important to recall that the implementation of the provisional measures is compulsory under international law. The President of Myanmar has issued a number of decrees following the International Court of Justice’s provisional measures. As noted by the High Commissioner of Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, it is indeed time, now, to translate these decrees into concrete actions: The fighting must end; civilians must be protected; evidence of serious violations must be preserved.[1] The EU also takes note of the International Criminal Court authorization of the Prosecutor to investigate alleged crimes within the Court's jurisdiction. The EU commends the Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar (IIMM) and its role in ensuring justice and accountability, and calls upon all States to offer their full cooperation.

The recent tragedy in a jade mine in Kachin State, in which almost 200 miners lost their lives and many are still missing, reminds us of the challenges that Myanmar’s mining industries are facing with regard to the implementation of basic labour safety standards. The EU urges the Government of Myanmar to approve the 2017 Environmental Management Plan.

General elections have been announced for 8 November 2020. This is an opportunity for the Government of Myanmar to prove its commitment to democratic transition and the fulfilment of human rights for all persons in Myanmar.

 

Mr. Andrews,

Which concrete measures should be taken by the Government of Myanmar to ensure that the right to vote and to stand for public office apply to all persons, including those in conflict areas whether they are Rohingya or IDPs, and how can the international community support?

Thank you.

 

[1] Oral update on the human rights situation of Rohingya people (S-27/1), 30 June 2020

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