Burma Campaign UK today publishes an updated and expanded Briefing Paper – UN General Assembly and Crimes in Burma – highlighting how the UN General Assembly has failed to establish a UN Commission of Inquiry which could help reduce human rights abuses in Burma. The Briefing Paper argues that the European Union, which drafts UN General Assembly Resolutions on Burma, must ensure that establishing a Commission of Inquiry is included in the next General Assembly Resolution.
Although this Resolution may not be voted on in the full session of the General Assembly until December, the EU is likely to make a decision on including an Inquiry in the draft by early September.
Key points highlighted in the new briefing paper include:
- 20 Resolutions on Burma by the General Assembly have been ignored by the dictatorship ruling the country.
- Since 1992, 19 years ago, the General Assembly has been calling on the dictatorship in Burma to respect the Geneva Conventions, but it is still failing to do so.
- Language used in past General Assembly Resolutions relate to at least 15 possible war crimes and crimes against humanity.
- Despite making 18 calls for inquiries since 1997, the General Assembly has failed to exercise its power to establish its own inquiry into possible war crimes and crimes against humanity.
- The 20th United Nations General Assembly Resolution on Burma acknowledged its calls had been repeatedly ignored: ‘regretting that previous calls…. have not been heeded.’
- The benefits of the General Assembly Resolution on Burma establishing a UN Commission of Inquiry would outweigh the small negative impact of the Resolution attracting less support from UN members.
“If the EU fails to include establishing a Commission of Inquiry in the next General Assembly Resolution, it will be giving the dictatorship a green light to continue to rape, torture and execute civilians,” said Zoya Phan, Campaigns Manager at Burma Campaign UK. “After twenty years of the dictatorship ignoring requests for an end to abuses, the EU cannot credibly draft a 21st resolution knowing it will be ignored, and yet failing to take practical action in response.”