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We must not allow Myanmar to become a forgotten crisis: UK statement at the UN Security Council

Thank you President, and thank you ASG Khiari and Director Doughten for your insightful briefings. Thank you. Colleagues, we will not allow Myanmar to become a forgotten crisis. We reiterate our call for renewed efforts to build towards a peaceful, inclusive Myanmar and a better future for the people of Myanmar. The UN must appoint a Special Envoy without further delay which will help drive forward these efforts. Colleagues, as we’ve heard, it is now over three years since the Myanmar military overturned the democratically elected government, setting the country on a path of violence and humanitarian suffering. The Myanmar Armed Forces have conducted airstrikes across Myanmar, including in Rakhine State where communities are facing the dire impact of the escalating conflict. We unequivocally condemn such strikes. There is no justification for killing civilians. We are following, with deep concern, the credible reports of forcible detention and recruitment of the Rohingya, as a result of the military’s conscription announcement. This has the potential to further stoke high inter-communal tensions between the Rohingya and Rakhine communities.
The situation in Rakhine State and in Myanmar more widely, is devastating for its civilian population, and the international community must take action. First, we must galvanise political progress. Over a year since the adoption of UN Security Council resolution 2669, the Myanmar military refuses to engage meaningfully with international efforts to reach a peaceful solution to the crisis. The Council has been clear in its unequivocal support for ASEAN’s Five Point Consensus and the need to end all violence immediately.  We therefore need to send a unified message in support of implementation of 2669; holding the military to account for their actions and showing solidarity with the people of Myanmar. Since 2017, the United Kingdom has provided over million in aid including cash assistance, water, sanitation, and hygiene services, for Rohingya and other Muslim minorities in Rakhine State.  We remain clear that conditions are not conducive for any repatriation of the Rohingya and we commend Bangladesh for hosting so many Rohingya refugees.  Second, we must address the humanitarian situation. The military’s efforts to restrict access for humanitarian aid is worsening the harrowing situation on the ground. And the military’s reported forced closure of hospitals in Rakhine State is preventing access to essential healthcare. We reiterate this Council’s call for full, safe, and unhindered humanitarian access.

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