Press Statement on Myanmar

Press Statement on Myanmar from the Norwegian Delegation to the UN, in conjunction with a Security Council closed meeting, 27 May 2022.

Norway is deeply concerned about the worsening situation in Myanmar, with growing humanitarian needs, increased fighting, and no meaningful political dialogue.

The military forces continue to conduct brutal attacks on civilians throughout Myanmar.

Air raids, the burning of villages, indiscriminate killings, sexual violence, and systematic torture characterise the operations of the Myanmar military. The civilian resistance is increasingly taking up arms and violence from the military is met with growing violence from the resistance movement and ethnic armed organisations. This negative spiral must be broken.

We remain deeply concerned about large areas which remain inaccessible to humanitarian actors. The military deliberately obstructs assistance from reaching civilians. This must stop. We continue to call for full, safe, and unimpeded humanitarian access to all people in need. And we further urge the military junta to allow humanitarian organizations to resume visits and assistance in places of detention.

Norway reiterates its call for the military authorities to cease all attacks on civilians, schools, medical facilities, and protected personnel. And to release all political detainees, and respect human rights and democratic freedoms. All parties must refrain from violence, and all perpetrators must be held accountable. We also encourage all parties to engage in political dialogue.

Women have been at the forefront of the democratic resistance and remain disproportionately affected by the crisis. Children also bear the brunt of this conflict- their futures are being compromised. We condemn all violations of human rights, and demand that all parties uphold their obligations under international law.

It is critical that we remain focused on the extremely challenging situation for the Rohingya population, both in Myanmar and in refugee camps in Bangladesh. When conditions allow, Rohingya refugees must be assured safe, voluntary, dignified, and sustainable return in accordance with international standards.

Any attempt by the military regime to hold elections under the current conditions could be dangerous and destabilising. Especially while the political opposition remains imprisoned, freedom of speech is non-existent, political parties are banned or under strict control, and trust in the electoral bodies is gone.

Norway supports the role of ASEAN. We call on ASEAN to intensify their political and humanitarian engagement with all relevant stakeholders. We encourage stronger collaboration between the UN and ASEAN.

A return to a genuine democratic path is the only viable way to end the violence, to end the suffering of the people of Myanmar, and restore law and order.