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[Oral Statement] Item 4: Interactive dialogue on the written update of the High Commissioner on the situation of human rights in Myanmar

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53rd regular session of the UN Human Rights Council

Item 4: Interactive dialogue on the written update of the High Commissioner on the situation of human rights in Myanmar


Oral statement delivered by Ahmed Adam

On behalf of Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)

5 July 2023


Mr. President,

We welcome the High Commissioner’s report. As the report illustrates, the Myanmar military has weaponised humanitarian aid as a form of collective punishment against the Myanmar people who continue to bravely resist the junta.

The most recent demonstration of this is the ongoing blockade of humanitarian assistance to areas devastated by Cyclone Mocha, further exacerbating the suffering caused by the junta’s ongoing violence especially in Rakhine and Chin States.

This in particular affects the nearly 600,000 Rohingya remaining in Rakhine State under apartheid-like conditions. This should be a reminder to those who are collaborating with the junta for the so-called pilot project for repatriation of Rohingya refugees that the junta has no intention of guaranteeing conditions for their safe, dignified, voluntary and sustainable return. Its only intention is to instrumentalise the suffering of Rohingya for its own political legitimacy.

The junta’s ongoing aerial bombardment and ground attacks against the democratic resistance throughout the country have displaced at least 20,000 people in June alone in Tanintharyi, Bago and Sagaing Regions, adding to the over 1.5 million people already displaced by the junta’s ongoing atrocities following its failed coup attempt. They remain deliberately cut off from lifesaving humanitarian aid as punishment for their opposition to the junta.

Stopping the junta requires explicit and meaningful international support for and recognition of Myanmar people’s aspirations for democracy and accountability. We urge the international community, especially the UN humanitarian agencies, to reject the junta’s conditionalities and collaborate with the NUG and EROs to directly support the local responders to provide aid to the most vulnerable IDPs in areas under attack by the junta. Negotiating with the junta for access only allows it to continue weaponising aid and provides nothing more than false legitimacy to the junta against the wishes of Myanmar’s people.

Thank you.