UN Resolution Calls For Peace In Myanmar

On Wednesday, the UN Security Council (UNSC) demanded Myanmar stop the widespread violence in the country and urged the military junta to free "political prisoners" while expressing support for a peace process implemented by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

UN Resolution Calls For Peace In Myanmar
Image credit: Reuters [via CNN]

Facts

  • On Wednesday, the UN Security Council (UNSC) demanded Myanmar stop the widespread violence in the country and urged the military junta to free "political prisoners" while expressing support for a peace process implemented by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
  • The British-proposed resolution, which also requested that the Secretary-General or his Special Envoy on Myanmar provide an oral report to the body by March 2023, was approved in the 15-member body by a vote of 12-0, with China, India, and Russia abstaining.
  • This comes almost two years after Myanmar's military took over the country, overthrowing the democratically elected government and arresting civilian leaders such as the deposed State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi and former President Win Myint.
  • Since then, the military junta has cracked down on protests and dissent with lethal force while the opposition has militarized, launching an armed campaign against the government. At least 2.4K people have reportedly died, and more than 16K have been jailed, with 13K still detained.
  • The first-ever resolution on Myanmar adopted by the UNSC since the country joined the UN in 1948 allegedly paves the way for holding the military junta accountable but is reportedly "without consequences," as no action has been authorized against the regime.
  • This also marks a moment of relative unity in the UNSC, which has been mired in divisions — especially since the start of the war in Ukraine — as Beijing and Moscow opted not to veto the resolution following amendments to the wording.

Sources: Myanmar Now, United Nation Press, CNN, Al Jazeera, ABC, and France24.

Narratives

  • Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by Xinhua. This resolution risks botching efforts to promote peace in Myanmar both due to its format and content, as it lacks balance and risks antagonizing the junta. There's no quick fix to the Myanmar conflict, and pressuring for an overnight solution can only prolong the crisis, as the Libya issue has shown.
  • Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by SMH. This historic resolution makes it clear to Myanmar's military junta that the international community will not tolerate human rights abuses against the people of Myanmar and the destruction of the country's democratic institutions. It also endorses ASEAN's central role in solving this crisis and supports its 2021 five-point consensus to restore peace and stability to the country.
  • Narrative C, as provided by Progressive Voice Myanmar. This resolution indeed lacks any substantive action to stop the military junta from committing atrocities against Myanmar's people because China and Russia have taken the UNSC hostage, favoring their junta allies and trade partners. UN member states must take action and impose a global arms embargo and targeted sanctions against the terrorist military regime.