Human Rights Council Session 42 – Statement of the Kingdom of the Netherlands on Myanmar – Item 4

In reaction to the oral update by the Special Rapporteur on Myanmar

Mr President,

The Netherlands aligns itself with the EU statement and wishes to thank Ms. Yanghee Lee for her oral update and her important work thus far. The Netherlands is increasingly discouraged by the continuing reports of serious human rights violations and abuses in Myanmar, in particular in Rakhine, Kachin and Shan States.

By providing refuge to the Rohingya Bangladesh has shown an incredible amount of solidarity. The situation of the Rohingya, however, remains without perspective. Impunity for widespread atrocity crimes remains unaddressed. The root causes of the conflict remain unaddressed. There are no solid guarantees for the Rohingya refugees to return home, securely, with freedom of movement and proper citizenship verification.

We call upon the Myanmar government to implement the recommendations of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State in full. We firmly believe that civilian control over the military is essential in order to structurally improve security of Myanmar citizens and respect for their basic human rights. We urge the government of Myanmar to continue to pursue and accelerate the transition to democracy.

Mr President,

The coming year brings elections to Myanmar. More than ever this demands space for a democratic debate in which all voices are heard.

We have witnessed a lack of structural efforts by the Myanmar government to reform the oppressive laws it inherited. Specifically laws limiting freedom of expression and association and media freedom. Arbitrary arrests of journalists and human rights activists is unacceptable. We call upon the government to provide democratic space to media, civil society and political parties to allow them to fulfill their democratic role, their democratic right.

Madame Special Rapporteur

Looking ahead, what urgent steps should be taken to ensure fair and inclusive election and follow-up in 2020? How do you view the international community’s role in this regard?