New York, MINA – The UN Security Council (UNSC) failed to approve a draft joint statement condemning the military coup in Myanmar after a two-hour emergency meeting because it lacked support from China, Myanmar’s main ally and veto-wielding permanent member of the council.
UNSC meetings with 15 member countries are being held virtually, to discuss Britain’s drafted statement, which states the UN is “collectively sending clear signals in support of democracy” in the country. Al Jazeera reported on Wednesday.
“I strongly condemn the recent steps taken by the military and urge all to collectively send a clear signal in support of democracy in Myanmar,” British envoy Christine Schraner Burgener told the council, according to a prepared statement.
Myanmar’s military meanwhile said the coup was constitutional and vowed to hold new elections, claiming last November’s election was fraudulent. The state of emergency will remain in effect for one year.
“Let’s be clear, the result of the recent elections was a landslide victory for the National League for Democracy (NLD),” said Schraner Burgenershe.
“The military suggestion of holding another election must be prevented,” he said.
A statement, drafted by Britain, that not only condemns the coup but calls on the military to respect the rule of law and human rights and to immediately release those detained illegally.
“China and Russia have asked for more time,” said one diplomat.
“A statement is still under discussion,” continued another diplomat, who was also not named.
The draft will also demand that the state of emergency be lifted and “that all parties comply with democratic norms.”
Human rights groups have denounced the UNSC’s failure to take swift action.
“Nobody should be surprised that the world body for maintaining international peace and security failed to issue a statement condemning the brazen military coup,” Akila Radhakrishnan, president of the Global Justice Center said in a statement.
He urged world leaders to take action including sanctions, arms embargoes and economic divestments to “weaken” Myanmar’s military. (T/RE1)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)