Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield
United States Mission to the United Nations
New York, New York
February 26, 2021
Mr. President, thank you for convening the membership here today, and thank you Madam Special Envoy for your briefing. It is an honor for me to be addressing the General Assembly for the first time – and it is fitting that this is such an important topic.
Let me be clear from the outset: The United States continues to strongly condemn the military coup in Myanmar. And we condemn the security forces’ brutal killing of unarmed people. And I would – like others – like to welcome and commend the courageous and brave statement made by the Myanmar Perm. Rep. here this morning.
Like the Perm. Rep., the people of Myanmar are making their voices heard. Doctors and civil servants. Grocery store cashiers and milk tea servers. Delivery drivers, oil rig operators, and artists. They are marching in the streets. They are raising red balloons, and banging pots and pans, and they are demanding their democracy back.
We stand in solidarity with them. We stand with the millions of people in Myanmar who have displayed courage and determination to reject this military coup. We stand with them as they call for a return to peace, democratic governance, and rule of law.
The military has tried to silence those calls with social media and internet blackouts. But we still hear the people of Myanmar loud and clear.
As President Biden said, the United States has and will continue to take actions in close coordination with allies and partners. We will show the military that their actions have consequences. Violence against those exercising their human rights and fundamental freedoms is unacceptable.
It is time for the military to immediately relinquish power, refrain from further violence, release all those unjustly detained, and restore Myanmar’s democratically elected government. And it is time to provide unhindered humanitarian access so that life-saving humanitarian assistance reaches all the people in need.
For our part, the United States will continue to provide life-saving humanitarian assistance, including to Rohingya and other vulnerable populations in Chin, Kachin, Rakhine, and Shan states.
We will also continue working to maintain and improve the health of the people of Myanmar, including combating COVID-19. And we will strengthen the ability of civil society to guard democratic space, support independent media, and promote peace and reconciliation.
And we ask that together, the whole world speaks with one voice and condemn the military’s detention of State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, President Win Myint, and hundreds of other civilian officials and human rights defenders.
We must all call for their immediate release.
We must all condemn attacks on journalists, activists, and peaceful protestors.
And we must all condemn the military’s restrictions on freedom of expression, including freedom to seek, receive, and impart information.
We urge every Member State here today to use any channel available to tell the Myanmar military that violence against the people of Myanmar will not be tolerated.
Together, we all show the people of Myanmar that the world is watching. We hear them, and we stand with them. Thank you.