The Burma Campaign UK today called on the British government to back moves to get the United Nations Security Council to authorise aid shipments to Burma.
On day 6 since Cyclone Nargis struck, most people have still not received any aid because of restrictions by the regime. Every day of delay is likely to cost thousands of lives. More than one million people are believed to be homeless, and more than 100,000 could have been killed.
The United Nations has the power to authorise aid shipments to Burma even though the regime has not given permission. Yesterday the French government tried to secure a discussion on this at the Security Council, but it is believed to have been blocked by China and Russia.
“Every day of delay is costing lives,” said Mark Farmaner, Director of Burma Campaign UK. “If the regime won’t give permission for aid, the international community must deliver it anyway. We can’t stand by and let thousands more die.”
In 2006 the Security Council passed Resolution 1674 which stated that the Council could intervene in circumstances similar to that in Burma.
“The British government must help secure Security Council authorisation for aid shipments,” said Mark Farmaner. “The government must also send the British Navy off the coast of Burma, ready to deliver aid by helicopter.”
For more information contact Mark Farmaner, Director of Burma Campaign UK, on 020 73244713.
NOTES TO EDITORS: A background briefing on responsibility to protect, by the International Crisis Group, is available at:http://www.crisisgroup.org/home/index.cfm?id=4521