New York: The UN Security Council has failed to agree on a joint statement condemning Monday’s coup in Myanmar, after a two hour long emergency meeting failed to secure the support of China, a key Myanmar ally and a veto-holding permanent member of the council.
The meeting, which was held virtually, followed the military’s detention of Aung San Suu Kyi and other top politicians in a series of early morning raids on Monday, after which armed forces chief Min Aung Hlaing assumed power.
The 15-member council was considering a UK-drafted statement that the United Nations’ envoy on Myanmar told diplomats should “collectively send a clear signal in support of democracy” in the country.
“I strongly condemn the recent steps taken by the military and urge all of you to collectively send a clear signal in support of democracy in Myanmar,” Christine Schraner Burgener told the council, according to her prepared remarks.
The military has said its coup was constitutional and promised to hold new elections, claiming last November’s poll was fraudulent without evidence. A state of emergency will remain in force for one year.
“Let us be clear, the recent outcome of the election was a landslide victory for the National League for Democracy (NLD),” Schraner Burgenershe said. “The military’s proposal to hold elections again should be discouraged.”
The Security Council is negotiating a possible statement, drafted by Britain, that would not only condemn the coup, but also call for the military to respect the rule of law and human rights and immediately release those unlawfully detained, diplomats said. Such statements have to be agreed by consensus.
“China and Russia have asked for more time,” one diplomat told the AFP news agency following the behind-closed-doors video conference meeting that lasted just over two hours.
“A statement is still under discussion,” confirmed another diplomat, also on condition of anonymity.
The text, drafted by Britain, would also demand that the state of emergency be repealed and “for all sides to adhere to democratic norms.” There was no mention of sanctions, according to AFP.
Human rights groups condemned the failure of the council to take swift action.
“No one should be surprised that the world’s body for maintaining international peace and security failed to issue a statement condemning a brazen military coup,” Akila Radhakrishnan, the president of the Global Justice Center said in a statement urging world leaders to take action including selected sanctions, arms embargoes and economic divestment to “disempower” the military.
“The time has passed for failed strategies promoting ‘stability’ and quiet diplomacy over accountability and justice,” she said. “The military has destabilized the country irreparably. It’s now on the international community to stem the tide of military violence and impunity before it’s too late.” Al-Jazeera