48th session of the Human Rights Council - Interactive Dialogue on the High Commissioner’s written update on Myanmar

Ministry Statements & Speeches:

Delivered by Lucy Duncan, New Zealand Permanent Representative, 23 September 2021.

Madam President,

Aotearoa New Zealand again wishes to register our grave concerns regarding the significant human rights and humanitarian situation in Myanmar, which has deteriorated further following the 1 February coup.

The rights to freedom of expression and peaceful demonstration are fundamental and inalienable. New Zealand is concerned by the continued use of arbitrary and politically motivated detention and extreme violence by the military regime against civilians, and recognises the disproportionate impacts on Myanmar’s most vulnerable populations, including women and children.

We call on the military regime to immediately release all political prisoners, and to cease the violent suppression and harassment of civilians within Myanmar and abroad.

We are encouraged by the appointment of the Special Envoy of the ASEAN Chair to Myanmar. This is an important step towards the cessation of violence in Myanmar and inclusive dialogue between all parties.

New Zealand remains committed to supporting Myanmar’s progress towards reconciliation, social cohesion, sustainable peace and a stable democracy. It is critical that accountability measures are put in place to hold those responsible for serious human rights violations and breaches of International Humanitarian Law.

Finally, New Zealand wishes to express its sympathy for those impacted by the devastating third wave of COVID-19.

What does the High Commissioner consider should be the international community’s top priorities when addressing Myanmar’s challenges?

Thank you.


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