U.N. Security Council agrees on statement condemning Myanmar violence

Mar 11 , 2021. 4 hours ago – 06:14 KYODO NEWS

United Nations headquarters in New York. (Getty/Kyodo)

NEW YORK – The U.N. Security Council on Wednesday agreed on a chair’s statement condemning the Myanmar military’s use of force in cracking down on protesters against a coup last month, a diplomatic source said.

While the statement strongly condemns violence against peaceful protesters including women and children, it also calls for restraint by the Myanmar military, the source said.

The chair’s statement, which is seen as having more authority than a press statement, was unanimously supported by the council’s 15 members.

At the same time, the language of the statement was considerably watered down from its original version, drafted by Britain, with phrases denouncing the military coup and mentioning U.N. readiness to take necessary actions to address the matter being deleted, the source said, adding that China and Russia had demanded rephrasing of the document.

The two countries, both veto-wielding permanent members of the Security Council, have often taken positions at odds with the United States and other Western countries in international disputes.

The council convened an informal session Friday to discuss Myanmar’s military crackdown against protesters in the Southeast Asian country with the death toll rising.

After members failed to agree during the closed-door meeting, negotiations on the wording of a potential document on the Myanmar situation continued.

Criticism has grown in the international community over the Feb. 1 military coup that ousted the country’s democratically elected government led by Aung San Suu Kyi and resulted in the detention of many government officials including Suu Kyi.

When the Security Council gathered in early February, days after the military coup, it released a press statement expressing “deep concern” about the detention of Myanmar government officials and called for “the immediate release of all those detained.”

But the press statement stopped short of denouncing the Myanmar military.