Remarks at a Meeting of the Third Committee on the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission in Burma

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


Thank you, Mr. Chair.

The United States expresses support for the independent international fact-finding mission and its well-researched documentation of human rights violations and abuses in Burma.

We are appalled at systematic and premeditated abuses and violations by the security forces, especially in Kachin, Shan, and Rakhine States. In Rakhine, Rohingya villagers have been subjected to devastating atrocities, and we remain deeply concerned that most Rohingya still living in Burma remain stateless, in part due to discriminatory provisions of the 1982 Citizenship Act.

We continue to call on the Myanmar authorities to establish conditions that will allow for the voluntary, safe, and dignified return of Rohingya refugees. It is clear that those conditions do not currently exist. And they cannot exist, as long as the same security forces that committed human rights violations against these refugees, and who continue to oppress the Rohingya who remain, escape accountability. Those who were responsible for ordering these atrocities must be removed from positions of power, and the military must be placed firmly under the control of the civilian government.

We welcome the establishment of a new UN mechanism to collect, consolidate, preserve, and analyze evidence of the most serious international crimes and violations of international law in Myanmar, and to prepare dossiers for independent criminal proceedings. Going forward, we hope the new mechanism will build on your excellent work, and that it will draw on an appropriate budget, with the strong support of the General Assembly.

Thank you.