Monday, April 28, 2014

India Wants End Of UN Burma’s Human Rights Resolution

Inida's UN Ambassador Asoke Mukerji at UNGA.
United Nations, 26 April: 
In the backdrop of several “significant” political and economic reforms initiated in Myanmar over the last few years, India has called for the discontinuation of a UN General Assembly resolution on the human rights situation in the Southeast Asian country.

Indian Ambassador to the UN, Asoke Mukerji, participating in a meeting of the 'Partnership Group for Peace, Development and Democracy in Myanmar' here yesterday, welcomed the significant political and economic reforms instituted by Myanmar towards greater democratisation.

He said India would continue to support the steps taken by the Myanmar government towards reform and reconciliation, with reference to pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, release of political prisoners, holding of peace talks with the ethnic groups, including the Kachins and proposal for signing of a nationwide ceasefire accord soon.

“These are positive steps, especially given that elections are due to take place next year. We take note of the recently concluded census operation and hope that the data generated would help in formulating policies which would be beneficial for the holistic growth of the country”.

In this regard, he said, “We believe that time has come for member states to now agree to the discontinuation of the resolution on human rights situation in Myanmar. This would convey the international community's strong support and encouragement for the reform measures that are already underway in Myanmar”.

India's proposal was supported by Vietnam. Mr Mukerji underlined the importance of the international community pursuing the path of engagement with Myanmar to “encourage the further advancement of national reconciliation as well socio-economic development”.

“India is fully committed and stands ready to support Myanmar in this endeavour,” he said.

As per the resolution on the human rights situation in Myanmar approved in November 2011, the UNGA expressed grave concern about violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms of the people of Myanmar, while recognising the government's commitment to implementing reforms.

Asoke Mukerji and UNSG Ban Ki-Moon
During deliberations last year in the UNGA's Third Committee, which deals with social, humanitarian and cultural issues, India had stated that the resolution should be discontinued.

Recognising the positive economic and political development occurring in Myanmar, several other nations had said in the November 2013 Third Committee meeting that there would be no need to approve the resolution in future.

According to the resolution, the General Assembly would welcome the Myanmar government's stated commitment to continue on the path of political and economic reform, democratisation and national reconciliation, as well as the promotion and protection of human rights.

Mr Mukerji described India's relationship with Myanmar as one based on shared cultural, socio-economic and historical links, and one that has grown as a result of interaction at the highest levels of government recalling Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Myanmar in May 2012, the first visit by an Indian prime minister after a gapof 25 years.

During this visit, an MOU for extending a Line of Credit for 500 million dollars was signed. India has extended grants-in-aid of about 670 million dollars for projects in the fields of human resource development, infrastructure, agriculture, IT, healthand industrial training in Myanmar.

UN-Figure widely hated in Burma.
Progress is also being made on various connectivity projects underway in Myanmar including the Kaladan Multimodal Transit-TransportProject, India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway, Tamu-Kalawa-Kalemyo Road and Rhi-Tiddim Road.

Noting the efforts of UN's Special Adviser for Myanmar Vijay Nambiar, Mr Mukerji said India stands ready to continue to play a constructive role in the process ofconsultations with other like-minded countries on Myanmar.

Mr Mukerji added that the change in the name of group from 'Group of Friends of Myanmar' to the 'Partnership Group for Peace Development and Democracy in Myanmar'is a significant step taken by the international community in recognition of the movement by Myanmar in its path of peace, development and democracy.

(Blogger's Notes: There has been a tremendous succession of UN resolutions on human rights in Burma since the first Resolution 1992/58 on 3 March 1992. The latest one was OIC-sponsored Resolution L-20 on 21 March 2013.

And understandably, Burmese Government has been intensively lobbying at the United Nations to end that ridiculously restricted "UN Resolutions for Human Rights Situation in Burma" and the successive appointments of "Special Rapporteur for Human Rights Situations in Burma". This call by India's UN Ambassador is a first public salvo to achieve that ultimate aim, I believe.)

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