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  • Writer's pictureMyanmar Mission To UN

Statement of Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun, sent to the UNSC High-Level Open Debate on War in Cities

Statement of Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun, Permanent Representative of Myanmar to the United Nations, sent to the United Nations Security Council Open Debate on War in Cities: Protection of Civilians in Urban Settings, held on 25 January 2022 in New York.

[Below Myanmar Text]

၂၀၂၂ ခုနှစ်၊ ဇန်နဝါရီလ ၂၅ ရက်နေ့တွင် ကုလသမဂ္ဂလုံခြုံရေးကောင်စီ၌ ပြုလုပ်သော မြို့ပြစစ်ပွဲများနှင့် အရပ်သားများကို အကာအကွယ်ပေးခြင်းဆိုင်ရာ ကုလသမဂ္ဂလုံခြုံရေးကောင်စီ အဆင့်မြင့်အစည်းအဝေး သို့ ကုလသမဂ္ဂဆိုင်ရာ မြန်မာအမြဲတမ်း ကိုယ်စားလှယ် သံအမတ်ကြီး ဦးကျော်မိုးထွန်းမှ မိန့်ခွန်းတစ်စောင် ရေးသားပေးပို့ခဲ့ပါသည်။ ယင်းမိန့်ခွန်းတွင် အရပ်သားများကို အကာအကွယ်ပေးခြင်းသည် နိုင်ငံတကာ လူသားချင်းစာနာထောက်ထားမှုဥပဒေ၏ ကျောရိုးဖြစ်ပြီး မည်သည့်အခြေအနေတွင်မဆို ထိပ်တန်း ဦးစားပေးကိစ္စဖြစ်သည့်အချက်၊ မြန်မာနိုင်ငံတစ်ဝှမ်းလုံးတွင် ဖြစ်ပွားနေသော လူသားမျိုးနွယ်အပေါ် ကျူးလွန်သော ရာဇ၀တ်မှုများနှင့် စစ်ရာဇ၀တ်မှုများကြောင့် မြန်မာပြည်သူများ အထူးသဖြင့် ကလေးများ၊ အမျိုးသမီးများနှင့် မိန်းကလေးများ၊ ‌နေရပ်စွန့်ခွာရသူများနှင့် အခြားထိခိုက်လွယ်သော အုပ်စုများ ဆင်းရဲဒုက္ခခံစားနေကြရသည့်အချက်၊ ၎င်းတို့အပေါ် အကာအကွယ်ပေးရေးအတွက် ကုလသမဂ္ဂလုံခြုံရေး ကောင်စီအနေဖြင့် လက်နက်ပိတ်ပင်မှုနှင့် လူပုဂ္ဂိုလ်၊ အဖွဲ့အစည်းကို ပစ်မှတ်ထားပိတ်ဆို့အရေးယူမှုများ၊ လေယာဉ်မပျံသန်းရဇုန် ကြေငြာခြင်းနှင့် ရက်စက်ကြမ်းကြုတ်သော ရာဇဝတ်မှုကျူးလွန်သူများအား တာဝန်ခံမှုရှိစေခြင်းစသည့် လိုအပ်သော အရေးယူဆောင်ရွက်မှုများ ပြုလုပ်ရန်လိုအပ်သည့်အချက်၊ မြန်မာနိုင်ငံကို လူသားချင်းစာနာထောက်ထားမှုဆိုင်ရာ အကူအညီများ ပေးအပ်နိုင်ရေးနှင့် စစ်အာဏာရှင် စနစ်ချုပ်ငြိမ်းပြီး ဒီမိုကရေစီလမ်းကြောင်းပေါ် ပြန်လည်ရောက်ရှိအောင် ကူညီပေးရေး တုံ့ပြန်ဆောင်ရွက်မှု များ အမြန်ဆုံးပြုလုပ်ရန် နိုင်ငံတကာအသိုက်အဝန်းနှင့် ဒေသတွင်းအဖွဲ့အစည်းများအပေါ် ထပ်မံ တောင်းဆိုသည့်အချက်များ ပါဝင်ပါသည်။ မိန့်ခွန်းအပြည့်အစုံကို အင်္ဂလိပ်ဘာသာဖြင့် ဖော်ပြထားပါသည်။

Statement by Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun,

Permanent Representative of Myanmar to the United Nations

at the United Nations Security Council High-Level Open Debate on

War in Cities: Protection of Civilians in Urban Settings

(New York, 25 January 2022)

Mr. President,

At the outset, Myanmar appreciates Norway for timely organizing this open debate onWar in Cities: Protection of Civilians in Urban Settings”. I also thank the Secretary-General and other briefers for their statements.

Mr. President,

Protection of civilians is the backbone of international humanitarian law, which extends protection down to individual level in armed conflicts – no matter where they occur, either in rural or urban settings. As such, protecting civilians must always be a top priority under every circumstance, not only in armed conflicts. With the significant shift in the nature of conflicts in recent decades, increasingly complex internal armed conflicts are being waged in urban areas with heavy humanitarian consequences. Frequently, military objectives are being prioritized over all others including unacceptable civilian sufferings. The principles of precaution, distinction, necessity and proportionality which are the tenets of international humanitarian law are often ignored by parties to hostilities. In some circumstances, even humanity is disregarded. In worst cases, civilians are deliberately targeted and humanitarian access is blocked as a collective punishment. Women, children, persons with disability and other vulnerable groups suffer more from the impacts of armed conflicts.

Mr. President,

My country Myanmar has been thrown into the current economic, humanitarian and security catastrophe by the failing illegal coup perpetrated by the military on February 1, 2021. Almost a year has passed since the illegal coup; the military forces have murdered more than 1,469 civilians including more than 90 children. Over 11,000 people have been unjustly arrested with 8,468 still in detention. Many were tortured. More than 320,900 people have been displaced by the military’s recent indiscriminate heavy weaponry and aerial attacks against the residential cities and towns across Myanmar.

The military junta’s widespread and systematic violence against the population, which as per the preliminary analysis by the UN Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar (IIMM) could amount to crimes against humanity, includes, among others, attacks on education and medical personnel, torture of arbitrary detainees to death, blockage of life-saving humanitarian assistance, burning houses and religious facilities and massacres of civilians including women and children. Examples of atrocities committed by the military included the 27 March killing of 140 unarmed civilians in 44 townships, 9 April mass killing of over 80 protesters in Bago, massacres of over 40 people in Kani in July, burning of 11 people to death in Don Taw village in last December and the 2021 Christmas Eve massacre in Karenni State (Kayah State). In the Christmas Eve massacre, at least 35 civilians including women, children and two humanitarian response staff members of Save the Children were inhumanely killed and burnt by the military forces. Moreover, On December 5, in Yangon, our biggest urban city, the military vehicle drove through a group of protesters in Myanmar, resulting in five fatalities. It was an open-air criminal event committed by the military in the urban area.

For isolated incidents, poor discipline can take the blame. However, repeated massacres of civilians – in some cases roping them together and burning alive – cannot be attributed to poor discipline. In the case of Myanmar military, targeted attacks against civilians are widespread and systematic. Brutalities are a tactic of war they employ to terrorize the people into submission. The very reason the military forces has been committing such atrocities against the civilians is the deep-rooted sense of impunity they feel. They can arbitrarily shot dead anyone or can ram their vehicles into the peaceful protesters because they know there will be no credible investigations into their actions and they will never be held accountable under the illegal military junta.

Mr. President,

Apart from international humanitarian law and human rights law, the UN Security Council adopted a number of resolutions and presidential statements regarding the protection of civilians. The Council’s resolutions also included protection for specific categories of persons such as humanitarian personnel, journalists, heath-care workers, and persons with disabilities. The Council expressed its willingness to respond with appropriate measures to situations of armed conflict where civilians are being targeted or humanitarian assistance to civilians is being deliberately obstructed.

In response to Myanmar, the Security Council issued a number of statements including a Presidential statement. It has also condemned the violence and killings of civilians, called for unimpeded humanitarian access, and in the Christmas Eve massacre, stressed the need for accountability for that inhumane act. Despite all these appeals from the Council, the military’s targeted attacks and collective punishment against civilians continue to worsen day by day. Statements and words of concern are clearly not enough to deter further military atrocities and prevent people from victims of crimes against humanity and war crimes committed by the military in Myanmar.

In concluding, Mr. President, the people in Myanmar, especially children, women and girls, IDPs and other vulnerable groups need an urgent and united response from the UN Security Council for their protection. The Council has a number of tools at its disposal to protect the civilians in Myanmar. Imposition of arms embargo and targeted sanctions, declaration of no-fly-zone, and ensuring accountability for the perpetrators of ongoing widespread and systematic atrocities in Myanmar are among the much needed actions of the Council. We look forward to the Security Council to live up to its expressed determination in its various resolutions under the agenda of the protection of civilians. Furthermore, to bring peace, stability and to provide humanitarian assistance to those in need is to start with the end of military dictatorship. I appeal again for an urgent unified international and regional response to help put Myanmar back on the path to democracy.

I thank you.


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