Security Council should collectively send clear signal in support of democracy in Myanmar:UN envoy

Yoshita Singh
·3-min read

United Nations, Feb 2 (PTI) UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy on Myanmar Christine Schraner Burgener on Tuesday urged the Security Council to “collectively” send a clear signal in support of democracy in Myanmar, saying the declaration of the emergency and arrest of civilian leadership in the country are “unconstitutional and illegal.” “More than ever, this Council’s unity is crucial. I strongly condemn the recent steps taken by the military and urge all of you to collectively send a clear signal in support of democracy in Myanmar,” Burgener told the Security Council’s closed discussion on the situation in Myanmar.

The United Kingdom, President of the Security Council for the month of February, held a closed-door discussion on Myanmar following the military coup and detention of State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and other top political leaders.

She said the Security Council must help address the multifaced challenges affecting Myanmar and the region.

“Fundamental to this will be ensuring democracy is expeditiously restored and the country does not fall back into isolation.” “I urge the Council to press for restraint and calm to avoid further deterioration of the current situation and to uphold full respect for human rights and international law. I also count on your collective support for greater access for the United Nations to address dire needs, which could be exacerbated by the current crisis,” the Special Envoy said.

Burgener said she has warned many times that, as “we support Myanmar’s transition, the urgency in helping lay the foundations of a pluralistic democracy should be balanced with due consideration for the various complex domestic challenges the civilian leadership faces.” She told the Council that she had been “in contact” with the military leadership as recently as one day before the takeover who mentioned communication was ongoing with the Government and the Union Election Commission.

She added that although the Commander-in-Chief in Myanmar did initially welcome the successful conduct of the election, the military recently pressed for the Union Election Commission and other civilian bodies to investigate alleged election-related violations.

Calling for the immediate release of Suu Kyi, President U Win Myint, and dozens of other political leaders, family members and activists, Burgener expressed deep concern over the declaration of a one-year state of emergency and the transfer of all legislative, executive and judicial powers to the military under the Commander-in- Chief.

She asserted that the recent outcome of the November 2020 election was a landslide victory for the National League for Democracy (NLD), which won over 82 per cent of parliamentary seats at the union, regional and state levels. “This provided a strong renewed mandate to the NLD, reflecting the clear will of the people of Myanmar to continue on the hard-won path of democratic reform.” She further stressed that declaration of the Statement of Emergency and the arrest of civilian leadership are unconstitutional and illegal and called for the declaration to be repealed, detained leaders released immediately, and the post-election litigation process should resume with full commitment from all sides.

“In this regard, the military’s proposal to hold elections again should be discouraged. It is important that we join our efforts in helping ensure the military respects the will of the people of Myanmar and adheres to democratic norms.” PTI YAS NSA