Home Equality & Justice ASEAN, EU parliamentarians urge UN, US to take sides in Myanmar

ASEAN, EU parliamentarians urge UN, US to take sides in Myanmar

The group called for increased and coordinated pressure on the military junta in Myanmar

A delegation of parliamentarians from Southeast Asia and Europe urged officials at the United Nations, the US State Department, and the US Congress to support the pro-democracy movement in Myanmar.

The delegation traveled to New York and Washington, D.C., and presented to a variety of stakeholders the preliminary findings and recommendations of the International Parliamentary Inquiry (IPI) into the global response to the crisis in Myanmar.

“We have impressed upon the stakeholders we have met the necessity for governments committed to supporting democracy in Myanmar to acknowledge the National Unity Government as the legitimate authority in the country,” said Malaysian MP Charles Santiago, chairperson of the ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR).



The group also called for increased and coordinated pressure on the military junta in Myanmar “and scale up humanitarian aid channeled through civil society organizations.”

“The United States has an important role to play in exerting pressure on the junta and supporting the pro-democracy forces,” said Heidi Hautala, vice president of the European Parliament and chairperson of IPI.

“We called for the imposition of sanctions on the Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise, one of the main sources of funding for the Myanmar military, as the European Union has already done,” added Hautala.

“We believe that those governments and international institutions that claim to support democracy in Myanmar should cut the flow of funds to the junta and do so in a coordinated and consistent manner,” she said.

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The IPI has held a total of six public hearings, as well as two special and three confidential hearings, with experts, diplomats, politicians, and activists from Myanmar and other countries to look into the situation in Myanmar.

On Friday, Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob accused the UN Security Council of not taking serious action to remedy the situation in Myanmar.

He said the UN body’s five permanent members made it impossible to resolve conflicts by often misusing their veto power.

Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Ismail Sabri also said ASEAN needed to scrap an agreement it made with Myanmar to return that country to democracy because the junta has done nothing to implement the accord.

But the Malaysian PM reserved the most scathing criticism in his 22-minute speech for the UN Security Council, which he called the world body’s “biggest problem.”

“It is very saddening when the Security Council does not take any serious action in dealing with this situation. Some even see the Security Council as having washed its hands off and handing the matter over to ASEAN,” he said. – with a report from Radio Free Asia

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