Rita French, the Human Rights Ambassador of the UK, presented a statement on the state of affairs in Myanmar during the 52nd session of the UN Human Rights Council.
Delivered on: 6 March 2023
Transcript of the speech, exactly as it was delivered:
Thank you, Mr President.
And thank you, High Commissioner, for your sobering update.
We share your concern at the situation in Myanmar. We condemn the junta’s increasingly brutal tactics, including through indiscriminate air strikes, conflict-related sexual violence and arson attacks. The targeting of civilian infrastructure, including schools, and hospitals and places of worship must cease. Civilians must be protected.
Over 2,600 people have been killed since the coup. Over 19,000 people have been arbitrarily detained. Female pro-democracy activists are increasingly targeted online.
The UK will continue to apply pressure through international fora, targeted sanctions, a comprehensive arms embargo and other means to oppose the junta’s violent and oppressive actions. I am proud that the UK led efforts to secure the first ever UN Security Council Resolution on Myanmar which urges all parties to respect human rights, and to end violence.
Accountability is the only way to end the military’s culture of impunity. Perpetrators must be brought to justice. To this end, the UK has established the Myanmar Witness programme which reports on some of the most egregious human rights violations.
How can the international community support access to justice for victims and survivors of sexual violence?