The U.N. Security Council has adopted its first ever resolution on Myanmar in 74 years to demand an end to violence and urge the military junta to release all political prisoners, including ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Ms. Kyi, 77, has been a prisoner since the army toppled her government almost two years ago and violently cracked down on dissent.
What More About This Development:
The 15-member council has long been split on how to deal with the Myanmar crisis with China and Russia arguing against strong action. They both abstained from the vote, along with India. The remaining 12 members voted in favor.
Need of This Resolution:
- The resolution urges the junta to immediately release all arbitrarily detained prisoners, including Suu Kyi and ex-president Win Myint.
- It also demands an immediate end to all forms of violence and asks for all parties to respect human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law.
- It also urges “concrete and immediate actions” to implement a peace plan agreed upon by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and calls for the military administration to “uphold democratic institutions and processes and to pursue constructive dialogue and reconciliation in accordance with the will and interests of the people”.
UNSC & Myanmar:
Over the decades, Myanmar’s military has dedicated considerable resources to avoiding the passage of a resolution in the UNSC, very often relying on China to exercise the veto that it enjoys as a permanent member of the body. In 2007, the UNSC failed to adopt a draft resolution on Myanmar due to Chinese and Russian vetoes. In late 2018, following the Myanmar military’s violent assaults on the Rohingya communities in the west of the country, the U.K. made another attempt to pass a resolution, but China and Russia refused to engage in the resolution, and it decided not to table the draft for a vote.