Statement by the United States in a Third Committee Dialogue with the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Myanmar

Jason Mack
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York, New York
October 23, 2019


Thank you, and Special Envoy Burgener, the U.S thanks you and the Secretary General for your continued focus on the very serious governance and human rights issues in Myanmar. In your role as Special Envoy, we encourage you to press for progress on the democratic transition, establishing civilian control of the military, and respecting human rights at the forefront of your ongoing engagement with the civilian and military elements of the Government of Myanmar. We also encourage you to consult closely with victims of human rights abuses in Myanmar and to press the Myanmar authorities to take victims’ views and needs into account.

The United States remains concerned about restrictions on fundamental freedoms and human rights in Myanmar, including closing space for civil society and an increasingly hostile environment for journalists.

We support the efforts of the people of Myanmar to achieve a peaceful, prosperous, and democratic country, and call for meaningful reforms to achieve this outcome.

The United States is gravely concerned about ongoing abuses and the culture of impunity within the security forces. The military must take steps to end policies that promote abusive behavior and hold accountable those responsible for abuses.

The United States remains deeply concerned about the people of Myanmar who have been forced to flee from their homes, including the one million Rohingya refugees residing in Cox’s Bazar District in southeastern Bangladesh and IDPs within Rakhine State. The government has made very little progress on improving conditions in Rakhine State that would allow the voluntary, safe, dignified, and sustainable return of displaced Rohingya.

We urge you to continue to press the Government of Myanmar to allow for unhindered humanitarian access, create conditions for voluntary return, and address the root causes of the crisis in Rakhine State, including improving the living conditions for those Rohingya who remain, in line with the recommendations of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State.

Special Envoy Burgener: How can the international community do more to support the establishment of civilian control over the military in both political and economic domains?