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UN General Assembly Calls for Halt of Weapons to Myanmar

UN General Assembly Calls for Halt of Weapons to Myanmar

Sunday, 20 June, 2021 - 10:30
A previous meeting of the United Nations General Assembly (AFP)

The United Nations General Assembly on Friday called for a stop to the flow of arms to Myanmar and urged the military to respect November election results.

The General Assembly adopted a resolution with the support of 119 countries some four months after the military overthrew Aung San Suu Kyi’s elected government in a coup.

Belarus requested the text be put to a vote and was the only country to oppose it, while 36 abstained, including China and Russia.

In a quirk of history, Myanmar’s envoy to the world body, Kyaw Moe Tun, voted in favor of the text.

He rejected the coup and rules out the military’s claims that he no longer represents Myanmar. The UN still considers him as the rightful envoy.

After the vote, the diplomat voiced regret that it had taken three months for the Assembly to adopt the resolution and that it was not more explicit about an arms embargo.

The Assembly very rarely adopts resolutions condemning military coups or calling for limits on the arms supplied to the target country, according to AFP.

The resolution was not passed by consensus but rather through a vote, forcing all 193 UN countries to reveal their views.

ASEAN states Brunei, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand abstained in the General Assembly vote, while Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines and Vietnam voted in favor.

“It is the broadest and most universal condemnation of the situation in Myanmar to date,” said Olof Skoog, the European Union’s ambassador to the UN.

“The resolution sends a strong and powerful message. It delegitimizes the military junta, condemns its abuse and violence against its own people and demonstrates its isolation in the eyes of the world,” he said.

The resolution also calls for a restoration of democracy in Myanmar, and the release of all detained civilian leaders.

“We absolutely must create the conditions for democracy to be reinstated,” said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres before the vote on the resolution, hoping for a “very clear message” from the General Assembly.

“We cannot live in a world, where military coups become a norm. It is totally unacceptable.”

The resolution asks for the implementation of a five-point plan drafted by ASEAN in April, including the naming of an envoy from the bloc, and urges the military to “immediately stop all violence against peaceful demonstrators.”

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