November 27, 2006

Following new discussions on Burma at the UN Security Council today, the Burma Campaign UK called on the Council to pass a binding resolution requiring change in Burma. The call follows the failure of UN Under-Secretary General Ibrahim Gambari to secure any concessions from Burma’s military regime on a recent visit to the country. Gambari briefed the Council on his visit during today’s closed session.

“The regime in Burma has ignored all attempts at polite cajoling,” said Yvette Mahon, Director of the Burma Campaign UK. “For more than a decade, one UN envoy after another has been snubbed, and the regime has been allowed to get away with it. The Security Council must act. The USA and UK have said they want a resolution on Burma, now is the time to press for it.”

The regime in Burma has consistently defied the United Nations, ignoring over a dozen calls for Aung San Suu Kyi’s release by the Secretary General, and 29 resolutions by the UN General Assembly and Human Rights Commission. The regime has also defied repeated calls by the International Labour Organisation to end forced labour. Demands for UN Security Council intervention increased following the arrest of Aung San Suu Kyi in 2003. The campaign was given fresh momentum following publication in September 2005 of a report – A Threat to the Peace – commissioned by former archbishop Desmond Tutu and former Czech President Vaclav Havel from global law firm DLA Piper. The report found that Burma does fit the criteria for UNSC intervention, and called on the UNSC to pass a binding resolution requiring the restoration of democracy to Burma, and the release of all political prisoners, including Aung San Suu Kyi. The Security Council held its first discussion on Burma in December 2005. The first formal discussion on Burma was held on 29th September 2006, after the USA asked for Burma to be placed on the formal agenda, and 10 of the 15 members voted in favour.

For more information, contact Yvette Mahon, Director, on 020 7324 4710

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