[Oral Statement] Item 2: Interactive dialogue on the High Commissioners update on the situation in Myanmar
6 March 2024 12:10 am

55th regular session of the UN Human Rights Council

Item 2: Interactive dialogue on the High Commissioners update on the situation in Myanmar

Oral statement delivered by Ahmed Adam

On behalf of Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)

1 March 2024


Mr President,

High Commissioner, your reports and statements documenting the ongoing atrocities by the Myanmar military provide a glimmer of hope amid the UN’s inadequate response to the crisis. Response of other UN agencies remain insufficient, lacking coherence, and often ignoring the wishes of the people of Myanmar, dangerously veering toward legitimizing the junta.

The junta’s deadly terror campaign to illegally take power in the country continue unabated. Its recent setbacks and loss of territory to the democratic resistance have escalated their desperation. Its intensified four cuts strategy has deepened the humanitarian crisis and suffering of the nearly 2.5 million people forcibly displaced by the junta’s violence. It has increased airstrikes on schools, places of worship and IDP camps killing children and women.

Nothing demonstrates the junta’s desperation more than their recent illegal order to conscript young people into the military. This order not only seeks to legitimize the junta’s forced recruitment, particularly of disenfranchised and impoverished youth, including minors. It also aims to remove young leaders of the Spring Revolution and place them in positions where they are likely to be killed or forced to harm their fellow citizens.

The forced conscription order does not spare the Rohingya youth who have had all their rights denied to them and confined to displacement camps in Rakhine state. Amid the heightened risk to Rohingya as a result of the renewed fighting between the military and the Arakan Army, the junta has reportedly taken nearly 400 Rohingya youth from IDP camps to be trained in the military barracks.

The world cannot turn a blind eye to the immense human suffering in Myanmar. It cannot abandon the people of Myanmar to the ASEAN, which in the last three years, has failed to make any progress in resolving the crisis. The military needs to be held accountable. Its violence must be investigated as war crimes and crimes against humanity. The UN Security Council should refer the situation in Myanmar to the International Criminal Court, impose a global arms embargo and sanctions on the military leadership.

Thank you.