European Union External Action

HRC 42 - EU Intervention: Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Myanmar

Geneva, 16/09/2019 - 17:01, UNIQUE ID: 190916_15
Statements on behalf of the EU

United Nations Human Rights Council Geneva, 9-27 September 2019 EU Intervention: Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Myanmar

Mr. President 

The EU would like to thank Ms. Yanghee Lee for her continued work and strong engagement on the human rights situation in Myanmar. Let me use this occasion to stress the importance we attach to her mandate. We call on the Myanmar Government to resume its cooperation with the Special Rapporteur and to grant immediate and unrestricted access.

We continue to be deeply concerned about the persistent lack of accountability for serious human rights violations and abuses in Myanmar and the reports of ongoing violations and abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law.

The European Union has consistently called for accountability for those responsible for such crimes and have acted at UN level, leading to the establishment of the Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar. We are pleased that the Mechanism has now been declared operational and we welcome its first report to the Human Rights Council. The work of the Mechanism will be crucial in assuring the much needed accountability for crimes committed in Myanmar.

Given the gravity of the alleged crimes, the European Union once stresses the urgent need for perpetrators to be held to account through credible and independent national or international criminal justice mechanisms. We recall the authority of the Security Council to refer the situation in Myanmar to the International Criminal Court and we also reiterate our encouragement to Myanmar to become a party to the Rome Statute or to accept the exercise of jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court in accordance with article 12 (3) of the Rome Statute.

The EU reiterates its strong support for the International Criminal Court. The EU also welcomes the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court’s request for authorisation to open an investigation into the the alleged deportation of the Rohingya people from Myanmar to Bangladesh and her intent "to investigate alleged crimes within the Court's jurisdiction in which at least one element occurred on the territory of the People's Republic of Bangladesh – a State Party to the Rome Statute since 1 June 2010 – and within the context of two waves of violence in Rakhine State on the territory of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, as well as any other crimes which are sufficiently linked to these events”. We encourage alla relevant actors to cooperate with the ICC.

We remain deeply concerned about the continuing restrictions on humanitarian access, the difficult situation faced by IDPs, severe restrictions on freedom of expression, media and assembly, the violations of women's human rights  and the widespread occurrence of sexual and gender-based violence. The government as well as the private sector fall short of implementing the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights with issues such as unbated land grabbing. Last but not least, we regret the lack of progress in the implementation of the Rakhine Advisory Commission recommendations.

Madame Special Rapporteur,

How do you best see the follow-up and implementation of to the Fact-Finding mission’s recommendations by the international community?
What would you recommend for us in the Human Rights Council in order to continue to address the urgent issue of accountability?

You mentioned in your last report the need to provide urgent interim relief for victims who interact with the IIMM, including protection, access to livelihoods, education, health, psychosocial and trauma care and legal assistance.  What concrete actions would you recommend for us in the international community in this regard?

You also mentioned the need to, in addition to criminal accountability measures, work with civil society to consider justice broadly in accordance with the other pillars of truth, reparations and guarantees of non-recurrence that would assist Myanmar to redress past abuse and bring about democratic reforms and the rule of law.  Could you elaborate on this?

I thank you.


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