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United Nations

Explanation of Position: Situation of human rights of Rohingya Muslims and other minorities in Myanmar

UNGA76 Third Committee

Item 74 (c) – Situation of human rights of Rohingya Muslims and other minorities in Myanmar

General Statement delivered on 17 November 2021

Mr Chair

Australia thanks the EU and the OIC, particularly the delegations of Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh, for their work to broker this important text.

Like others, Australia is deeply concerned by the deteriorating situation in Myanmar and condemns ongoing human rights abuses by the regime. Australia calls again for the de-escalation of violence, for the release of those arbitrarily detained, including Australian Professor Sean Turnell and other foreigners, and for the regime to engage in dialogue with all stakeholders in line with the Five Point Consensus agreed with ASEAN leaders.

We also call on Myanmar’s regime to create conditions that allow the voluntary, safe, dignified and sustainable return of the Rohingya and other displaced persons. Against this backdrop, we welcome the consensus adoption of this text for the first time. The consensus of the text is a testament to the international communities’ attention on the situation in Myanmar.

The text highlights the deadly escalation of violence and the deterioration of human rights in Myanmar, and our determination that the 1 February coup must not distract from efforts to ensure justice and accountability for crimes committed against the Rohingya and other minorities. We are pleased to see the text strengthened this year with respect to civil society, accountability, conditions for returns, release of detainees (including foreign nationals) and the role of ASEAN.

However, we regret that the resolution was not able to explicitly name the events of 1 February a “military coup”. The coup continues to impact the protection, promotion and respect of human rights across Myanmar and we believe this could have been better reflected in the text.

We also reiterate the call upon all Member States to prevent the flow of arms into Myanmar made in UNGA resolution 75/287 of 18 June, and regret that this could not be included in the resolution. Efforts to restrict arms flows into Myanmar would be a meaningful step toward deescalating violence and creating permissible conditions for the return of the Rohingya and other displaced persons.

Our decision to co-sponsor nevertheless reflects our commitment to the Rohingya and our desire to see a resolution to the Myanmar crisis.

We underline our position that the Third Committee is one of the appropriate forums for the international community to raise and discuss human rights violations in countries of concern.

I thank you.

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