Remarks at a Meeting of the Third Committee on a Briefing by the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Myanmar

Henrietta Levin
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York City
October 23, 2018


Thank you, Mr. Chair.

The United States thanks Dr. Yanghee Lee for her reporting on the situation of human rights in Burma and for her continued courage and commitment.

We remain outraged by the ethnic cleansing of Rohingya in Rakhine State, where the military and police have committed widespread extrajudicial killings, gang rape, torture, forced disappearances, and burnings of hundreds of villages, with impunity. We are deeply concerned by severe restrictions on freedom of movement, access to citizenship, and freedom of religion for Rohingya Muslims.

We also condemn ongoing human rights violations and abuses in Kachin and Shan States against members of ethnic and religious minority groups, including the unlawful recruitment of child soldiers.

The United States calls on Burmese authorities to ensure accountability for those responsible for human rights violations and abuses; establish civilian control of the military; remove those responsible for human rights violations and abuses from positions of authority and bar them from future public office; give unrestricted access to the UN, humanitarian organizations, and media; and fully implement the recommendations of the Annan Advisory Commission in Rakhine State.

We remain concerned by the deterioration of respect for fundamental freedoms, including the growing restrictions on freedom of expression and press. We call for the immediate and unconditional release of those unjustly imprisoned, including Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, and Eleven Media journalists Kyaw Zaw Lin, Nayi Min, and Phyo Wai Win.

The establishment of civilian control of the military and other constitutional reforms are essential to advance the democratic transition and end military impunity. How would the Special Rapporteur recommend the international community support these reforms?