A former UN leader is pushing for “strong action” on Myanmar


Former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged the world body and Southeast Asian countries on Monday to take swift and strong action to stop the deadly crackdown that followed the military coup in Myanmar, saying he unsuccessfully tried to do so. Carrying out a diplomatic visit by himself.

Ban urged the UN Security Council to take immediate action to stop the violence and protect civilians, “using a set of tools available at the council’s disposal.” His comments came weeks after the group softened its statement on Myanmar by changing a draft indicating that sanctions could be considered.

Ban said that criticizing the commitment of international groups to avoid interfering in internal affairs is no excuse for “inaction in the face of grave human rights violations.” He also said that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations – which is holding a summit on Myanmar this month – should at least agree to send A high-level delegation to Myanmar. He also pressured the current Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, to deal directly with the country’s military.

“The United Nations and its regional partners now have a window for cooperation by taking strong measures to stop the ongoing atrocities in Myanmar and prevent further escalation of violence,” Ban said at a hypothetical Security Council meeting on the UN’s work with various regional organizations. around the world.

Since the Myanmar army seized power in February, The security forces were killed More than 700 protesters and bystanders, according to the Association for the Assistance of Political Prisoners, which monitors injuries and arrests. The group says more than 3,100 people have been arrested. They include ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint.

Violent repression I continued on Monday Government forces confronted the demonstrators, who sought to celebrate last week Shadow government formed By opponents of the junta.

The coup reflected a slow movement toward democracy in recent years in Myanmar, where five decades of strict military rule led to international isolation and sanctions. Ultimately, the generals loosened their grip, culminating in Aung San Suu Kyi’s rise to leadership in the 2015 elections. The international community responded by lifting most of the sanctions and pumping investment into the country.

While he was Secretary-General of the United Nations from 2007 to 2016, Ban went to Myanmar to pressure the generals who were ruling the country at the time to allow an unimpeded flow of foreign aid and experts to the survivors of Cyclone Nargis in 2008, which killed an estimated 134,000 people. . He also urged the military to embrace democracy.

On Monday, he said he had recently requested another visit, with the aim of meeting with all parties involved in an effort to de-escalate the conflict and promote dialogue. The authorities told him that such a visit “would not be comfortable at this moment.”

A letter was sent on Monday to the Myanmar mission to the United Nations seeking comment on Ban’s remarks and the Security Council debate.

The Council strongly condemned the violence against peaceful demonstrators and called for a reversal of the coup, the immediate release of government leaders and “maximum restraint” by the army. But The April 1 draft statement has been relaxed Partly by deleting a phrase saying the council could “consider taking further steps”, which could mean imposing sanctions – over objections from China, Myanmar’s neighbor and friend.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told the council on Monday that the group of Southeast Asian Nations – ASEAN, in short – should be seen on Myanmar.

“Supporting the constructive participation of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in the process of local reconciliation in Myanmar in the manner of ASEAN and de-escalating tension in Myanmar serves the interests of the Myanmar people and the international community,” said Wang, who said. Reviews sounded similar Before.

Several other council members also said that they are anxiously awaiting the outcome of the ASEAN summit.

Dato ‘Eriwan Bhin Yusef, the second member, said that ASEAN wants to see “all parties concerned seek a peaceful solution, continue constructive dialogue, reconciliation and return to a normal life in accordance with the will and interests of the people of Myanmar” and is ready to help. The current Foreign Minister ASEAN is the President of Brunei.

Guterres described the role of ASEAN as “decisive” and called for “a strong international response based on a united regional effort.”

On the UN side, he pointed out that his Myanmar envoy is in the region and is ready to talk with the military and others.


Associated Press writer Edith M.

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