Burma Campaign UK today delivered 5,300 postcards, letters and petition signatures to the British Foreign Office, calling on Foreign Secretary William Hague to secure a UN Commission of Inquiry into war crimes and crimes against humanity in Burma.
A UN Inquiry can be established by the annual resolution on Burma at the United Nations General Assembly. The European Union drafts the resolution. EU foreign ministers are meeting this weekend, giving William Hague the opportunity to persuade fellow ministers to agree on the inclusion of an Inquiry.
“The Foreign Secretary has said he supports a UN Commission of Inquiry into war crimes and crimes against humanity,” said Zoya Phan, Campaigns Manager at Burma Campaign UK. “Now he has the chance to turn words into action. After his visit to Burma this month the UN Special Rapporteur highlighted how serious human rights abuses are continuing. In ethnic areas gang rape and use of slave labour by the Burmese Army has increased. A UN Inquiry will help reduce these abuses.”
The General Assembly has passed 20 resolutions on Burma. They have referred to 15 possible war crimes and crimes against humanity, and made 18 separate calls for investigations. All have been ignored. Establishing a Commission of Inquiry is the next logical step. It has been recommended by the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Burma, and is supported by democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
A background briefing paper is available at: