On Tuesday, the UN Security Council will discuss the situation in Myanmar, where the military staged a coup after detaining top political figures, including de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, and look at a “range of measures” expressed in the November general election with the idea of respecting the will of the people.
Myanmar’s army staged a coup on Monday and detained Suu Kyi and other top members of her ruling party. The announcement on military-controlled Myawaddy TV came after an earlier statement that all government functions would be transferred to Military Chief Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing because national stability was at risk.
The military was also announced to have taken control of the country for a year.
The United Kingdom, the February president of the Security Council, will hold a closed-door discussion on Myanmar when the Council is also expected to hear from Christine Schraner Burgener, Special Envoy to the Secretary-General on Myanmar.
“Of course, we want to address the long-term threat to peace and security by working closely with Myanmar’s Asian and ASEAN neighbors,” Barbara Woodward, the United Kingdom’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations and President of the Security Council, told reporters during a virtual press briefing.
She said the topic of Myanmar was originally scheduled to be discussed later this week in the Council but was moved over the weekend to Tuesday “given the developments” in the country, stressing the “urgent” need to discuss the situation after the coup.
“When asked if the Security Council would discuss the issue of sanctions, Woodward said the UN Power Organ would “want to have as constructive a discussion on Myanmar as possible and look at a range of measures aimed at respecting the will of the people expressed in the vote and releasing leaders of civil society.
The UK remains deeply concerned about the Rohingya refugees’ humanitarian plight in Cox’s Bazar as well as in Bhasan Char, the island to which some of the refugees have been moved by Bangladesh, Woodward said.
She is trying to connect with leaders in Naypyitaw, but at this time communications with the capital of Myanmar are “very difficult,” Dujarric said, adding that colleagues in the on-the-ground UN country team in Myanmar are also closely following the situation with deep concern, particularly in view of the need to prevent and respond to the ongoing pandemic.
“Right now, I think what we’re facing is a situation that’s still a bit obscure. What we do know is that the will of the people of Myanmar has been overturned in an undemocratic way, and that needs to change. It is necessary to respect the will of the people,” said Dujarric.
He stressed that speaking with one voice was important for the international community and that “what will come out of the Security Council if something comes out, will only add more weight to that call.”