The United Nations Security Council (UN) issued a press statement expressing “deep concern” about the ongoing violence in Myanmar, where the country’s government is using military force to quell its opponents.
The Security Council statement comes following a massive Myanmar military offensive in the northwest of the country, despite warnings that the humanitarian situation in the country is sharply deteriorating.
These press statements carry less weight than official resolutions, and can serve as a way to reach consensus among Security Council members.
The agency seems difficult to take a more serious stance as its two permanent members, Russia and China, have warm relations with the current Myanmar government.
The statement issued Wednesday evening in New York said the Security Council underlined the importance of measures to improve the health and humanitarian situation in Myanmar, including facilitating the fair, safe and unhindered delivery and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.
The statement also called for “full, safe and unhindered humanitarian access for all those in need, and for the full protection, safety and security of humanitarian and medical personnel.”
The security situation in Myanmar, as well as the difficulties that aid agencies face in obtaining permits from the government to operate in remote areas, severely restrict the flow of aid.
Last Monday, the UN’s humanitarian affairs chief urged Myanmar’s military leaders to provide unhindered access to the more than 3 million people in need of life-saving assistance due to escalating conflict and insecurity, the COVID-19 pandemic and poor economic conditions.
Martin Griffiths warned that without ending the violence and bringing about a peaceful resolution, the number of people needing this kind of help would increase.
The council’s new statement reaffirms support for Myanmar’s democratic transition, and also reaffirms previous calls for the military to exercise complete restraint. [ab/uh]