Myanmar’s Response on the Interactive Dialogue of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights’ oral update on Myanmar at the 55th Session of the Human Rights Council

March 5

(1-3-2024, Geneva)

The Interactive Dialogue of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights’ oral update on Myanmar was held on 1 March 2024 at the 55th Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva. The country-specific mandate against the principles of universality, objectivity and non-selectivity only creates confrontation. Furthermore, holding interactive dialogues in the absence of the concerned country fails to meet the purpose of the Council which is dialogue and cooperation.

While Myanmar shares the concerns expressed by the international community, it should be noted that following the electoral fraud in 2020 general election, Myanmar has been not only facing the challenges for its democratic transformation but also addressing armed violence committed by armed actors/ insurgent groups and PDF terrorists. It is for the Government to ensure civilians along with public infrastructure are protected and therefore, it is required to take necessary security measures. Putting political pressure on the Government using the HRC as a platform with one-sided allegations while concealing the killings of 7,000 innocent people by the terrorists simply does not help Myanmar.

It is regrettable to see that the High Commissioner’s oral update was overwhelmed by sweeping allegations and propaganda of the terrorist groups. Moreover, the High Commissioner and this Council constantly ignored the violent attacks of PDF terrorists and coordinated attacks committed by the insurgent groups. When the Government countered these attacks, it has been portrayed as human rights violations. The High Commissioner talked about the video footage of burning two men alive and careful examination of the video reveals that the weapons being carried by the perpetrators were never used by Tatmadaw. Similarly, the attack against a local market in Sittwe mentioned by the High Commissioner was carried out by AA insurgents while the patients were admitted to public hospital.

Myanmar always attaches great importance to providing humanitarian assistance to the people in need. Currently Myanmar has been working with more than 20 UN agencies based in Myanmar and almost 200 INGOs which maintain their field presence across the country. Progress has been made in cooperation with the UN organizations, especially those which are related to providing humanitarian assistance in Myanmar.

With regard to humanitarian access, access has been facilitated for the AHA Center, UN agencies and international organizations (IOs), international non-governmental organizations (INGOs), and some donors to different parts of Myanmar. Furthermore, Myanmar has facilitated two visits of UN high level officials and eight visits of Regional Directors from UNDCO, ICRC, UNICEF, IFRC, IOM, UNDP, UNOPS, UNFPA in 2023. In addition, Myanmar has principally agreed to collaborate in humanitarian assistance distribution in the border area in bilateral cooperation with Thailand.

It is observed that many speakers neglected the root causes of displacement of people from Rakhine State in 2017 and largely ignored brutal killings and atrocities committed by the ARSA aka Aqa Mul Mujahideen terrorists. Myanmar is keeping up its efforts for the repatriation of the displaced persons from Rakhine State in accordance with the bilateral instruments and it has always been ready to receive verified displaced persons as agreed upon and has been preparing to provide necessary assistance, to resettle the returnees in designated villages and to provide healthcare, education and livelihoods. Returnees will be relocated in 20 designated villages where they will be provided with wide plots to take part in Cash-for-Work Programme for the construction of their own houses. In order to provide more options for the returnees for their resettlement to the places of origin or the nearest to the original places, Myanmar side will designate additional villages which are currently inhabited and located within 5-mile vicinity of the previously allocated 20 villages. This new initiative is a strong reflection of the political will and cooperation in good faith of the Government for the early commencement of the Pilot Project for repatriation.

As a matter of principle, Myanmar opposes country-specific mandates and their modalities which do not create conducive environment for constructive engagement. Moreover, the High Commissioner and certain delegations made statements going beyond the mandate of the Human Rights Council and incited the member states to take unilateral coercive measures to harm the people of Myanmar. Therefore, it forces Myanmar to reject such statements. Meanwhile, Myanmar expresses its appreciation to the delegations which delivered balanced and constructive statements.

Permanent Mission of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar to the United Nations Office and other International Organizations

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