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UK Mission to the United Nations

New York

London 18:42, 02 Jan 2013
New York 13:42, 02 Jan 2013

Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur, Tomás Ojea Quintana, on the situation of human rights in Burma

25 October 2012

UK Intervention in full
UN Headquarters New York

Thank you Mr Chair

The UK supports the statement by the EU.

We thank Mr Ojea Quintana for his continued commitment and his comprehensive report. We continue to welcome the access he has been granted by the Government.

The Government continues to make encouraging progress in a number of key areas. We have seen further releases of political prisoners, a parliament growing in confidence, the easing of media restrictions and a clear commitment from the Government to address human rights issues.

We have seen ceasefires signed with ten of the eleven major armed groups. But we also recognise that many challenges remain, notably in Kachin and Rakhine states, and we urge the Government to allow unhindered humanitarian access to the areas affected.  We also encourage further steps towards political dialogue and national reconciliation.

The inter-communal violence in Rakhine State has been a cause of major concern – exacerbated by further serious clashes over the last week. We have called on all parties to put an immediate stop to the violence. We recognise this is a complex situation.  We welcome the access that has been granted by the Government both to Mr Ojea Quintana and to the wider diplomatic community, and hope that this can continue.

We reiterate the SR’s calls for the provision of full humanitarian access, and for allegations of human rights violations by the authorities to be addressed.  The latest violence reinforces the need for a long-term solution to the situation in Rakhine State, involving an inclusive political settlement that protects the rights of all members of the local population, and identifies a lasting solution to the Rohingya’s statelessness- some are denied citizenship even where they are entitled to it under existing laws. To this end, we are pleased to see the detailed list of recommendations set out in Mr Ojea Quintana’s report.

We would like to ask Mr Ojea Quintana:

1.     How the international community can best ensure that the Government seeks a long-term resolution to the situation in Rakhine State?

2.     What is your assessment of the feasibility of establishing a mechanism to establish the number of political prisoners still detained throughout the country?


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