Myanmar’s Response on the Interactive Dialogue with the so-called Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar at the 56th Session of the Human Rights Council

(Geneva, 4 July 2024)

The Interactive Dialogue with the so-called Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar was held on 4 July 2024 at the ongoing 56th session of the Human Rights Council.

While Myanmar has been tackling to restore democracy, peace and stability, unhelpful dialogues with the Special Rapporteur at the Human Rights Council further complicate the domestic affairs of the country. Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur is impractical since the creation of the mandate of the Special Rapporteur itself does not meet the principles of the Council. Absence of the country-concerned during the dialogue makes it meaningless.

As holding the election is the ultimate aim of the State Administration Council (SAC), efforts are being made to enumerate the population and household census in October this year as part of preparations for holding a free and fair multiparty democratic general election in 2025.

Armed attacks by armed ethnic insurgent groups affiliated to NUG and PDF terrorists intensified in later part of 2023 particularly in northern Shan, Rakhine and Kayin States. The armed ethnic insurgent groups attempt to take control over several towns and villages in remote and border areas. In response, Myanmar armed forces counter armed ethnic insurgent groups not the civilian population. From 1 February 2021 to 31 May 2024, the terrorist groups NUG and PDF have claimed the lives of 7,764 innocent civilians including 277 children. It is observed that the Special Rapporteur again exploits his mandate to glorify such terror acts and continues inciting the international community to engage with the armed groups and terrorists.

The presentation of the Special Rapporteur and some countries mentioned situation in Rakhine State. The security situation in Rakhine State deteriorated since the AA resumed coordinated attacks in November 2023 as part of the so-called Three Brotherhood Alliance. From January 2023 to 25 May 2024, 217 innocent civilians including Bengali population lost their lives due to the attacks committed by AA.

Myanmar wishes to highlight that allegations of denial of humanitarian assistance are not true as access has been facilitated to different parts of Myanmar taking into account of security condition on the ground. Since January 2024, temporary relocations of the UN and INGO staffs as well as their eligible dependents have been facilitated by the Government due to their security concerns as per the requests while the organizations have maintained their presence in the areas where terrorists and insurgents are not active.

The Special Rapporteur released the so-called conference room paper entitled “Banking on the Death Trade:  How Banks and Governments Enable the Military Junta in Myanmar” (A/HRC/56/CRP.7). The paper further generalizes transactions of Myanmar national banks as if they all were for procuring weapons and military supplies while the banks only facilitate Myanmar’s trade relations with foreign countries. The paper provokes member states to impose unilateral sanctions against Myanmar in contrary to the international law and the UN Charter. Due to sanctions imposed by certain countries on its national banks, Myanmar experiences delayed payments, higher costs including bank charges, limited ability to integrate in the global market, decreased trade value, higher price of essential imports including medicine and fuel, higher import costs affecting domestic manufacturing. Such consequences have impact on vulnerable people including children, women and patients and the right to development of Myanmar people. Provoking member states to impose sanctions on Myanmar for the interest of a group of individuals at the cost of over sixty million population is irresponsible. It further indicates the ignorance of the Human Rights Council resolution A/HRC/RES/55/7 which urges the special rapporteurs to pay due attention to the negative impact and consequences of unilateral coercive measures.

On 28 June 2024, Myanmar Banks released a joint statement objecting calls contained in the so-called conference room paper since they could harm the interests of the people of Myanmar. In fact, bank transactions are crucial for essential imports including medicine, fuel, edible oils, agricultural products, fertilizers for the general population. The foreign banks working with the banks in Myanmar are following the enhanced due diligence (EDD) process. Moreover, Myanmar banks are cooperating with the relevant government organizations and privates in implementing measures required by FATF (Financial Action Task Force) in order to be removed from the list of high-risk jurisdictions subject to a call for action. The concerns expressed in the joint statement are widely shared by the numerous institutes and associations from different sectors including Myanmar National Human Rights Commission.

The Special Rapporteur again released the so-called conference room paper with document no. A/HRC/56/CRP.8 on 1 July 2024. It incorporates norms and beliefs in addition to some traditions such as women in need of male protection and forced marriage which are not practiced by Myanmar’s modern society.  Myanmar women have been playing leadership role successively since 15th century when Queen Shin Saw Pu ruled the country and today’s women represents over 40 percent in decision-making positions at director level and above in government organizations. Members of security forces are required to strictly abide by the laws and directives which do not tolerate any sexual abuses. In addition to the national mechanisms to protect and promote women’s rights, Myanmar signed the Joint Communique on Prevention and Response to Conflict-Related Sexual Violence with the United Nations on 7 December 2018. The relevant National Committee was established in 2019 and the National Action Plan on Prevention and Response to Conflict-related Sexual Violence was adopted in June 2021. Poorly drafted paper could not provide any facts to prove its sweeping allegations against members of security forces but it downplayed numerous sexual violence committed by PDF terrorist group and its affiliated ethnic armed insurgent groups. The paper shows the Special Rapporteur’s emotion and conduct in a biased manner and extensively and unprofessionally advocates for the so-called NUG to gain wider support of international community. The paper further misleads to back so-called local ethnic groups which are in fact subordinates to armed groups.

In conclusion, the Special Rapporteur has been echoing narrative of anti-government groups and anti-government media outlets, using exaggerated data and spreading unfounded allegations.

For these reasons, Myanmar categorically rejects the Special Rapporteur’s oral report, his irresponsible conference room papers and the recommendations.

Permanent Mission of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar to the United Nations Office and other International Organizations