Myanmar: we are extremely worried

Myanmar - Remarks to the press by Mr. François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations - 26 September 2017

"This will also be one of the priorities of the French presidency of the Council in October." François Delattre, 26 September

We are about to have important consultations under AOB on Myanmar and, in this respect, I’d like to make three points.

Number one, we are extremely worried by the situation in Myanmar. The humanitarian and security situation is critical. According to the information that we have, more than 420,000 Rohingyas have now fled their country in the last month, of whom a majority are children. As you know, French President Emmanuel Macron expressed a strong position during the UN General Assembly, calling what happened there an ethnic cleansing.

Number two, we, as France, push for a strong and united response from the Security Council to the crisis.

A first step will be the public briefing of the Security Council by the Secretary-General on Thursday, which France called for alongside six other members of the Council. This will also be one of the priorities of the French presidency of the Council in October. Under our SC presidency, we are planning to hold an Arria formula meeting at an early stage of our presidency, with Kofi Annan in particular. And Kofi Annan, the author of the report [of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State], has already given us his agreement in principle to attend this Arria formula meeting.

Again, we believe we need to move forward quickly and get a collective response from the UN to this crisis.

Where do we want to go? That is my third point.

We have at least three key goals on this:
1) Number one, bringing an end to all military operations. That is the number one priority.
2) Secondly, to ensure access of humanitarian aid and assistance to the Rohingya population.
3) And number three, engaging a political dialogue based on the recommendation of the advisory commission on Rakhine state chaired by Kofi Annan. And that’s where our proposal for this Arria Formula meeting is particularly important.

Q: Is there any discussion about a resolution, that would for instance discuss possible measures if there is no end to the violence, because the Council has already called for an end?

We believe that it is important for the Security Council, as I said, to express itself in a strong and united way. Then remains to be seen which kind of text it should be. But we think, given the current circumstances, the extreme worries I was referring to, that a text expressing the views of the Security Council is needed.

Q: What do you expect for today’s meeting and for Thursday’s meeting?

Today is really about assessment and awareness. We think it is a second step to make sure that the Security Council, as it should be, is really seized of this very important matter.

For Thursday, as I said, we think it is another even more important step, with respect to the public expression of the members of the Council. The goals remain the same: number one, to stop the military operations; number two, to make sure that the humanitarian assistance can reach the populations in need; and number three, to open a true political dialogue, with a true political solution that is needed there. So Thursday’s meeting, as we called for it, should be an important step toward these three goals. It is how we see it. And the Arria meeting with Kofi Annan that we have in mind for our Presidency is particularly important.

Dernière modification : 26/09/2017

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