We thank the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Myanmar, Ms Yanghee Lee, for her briefing and welcome the comprehensive report on Myanmar.
Norway welcomes the positive developments in Myanmar towards democratic reform as well as the high priority to peace and national reconciliation. Efforts by the Government to make the National Ceasefire Agreement more inclusive are encouraging. It will be important to ensure an inclusive political dialogue in the time ahead. Norway remains committed to supporting Myanmar in this area.
We share the Special Rapporteur’s concern for the humanitarian situation in Kachin and Shan States, as well as the need for ensuring freedom of expression and release of political prisoners.
We also share her concern regarding the eruptions of violence in Northern Rakhine and the aid organizations difficulties to access these areas. Norway supports the recommendation by the Special Rapporteur to provide unrestricted humanitarian access to Northern Rakhine. We also support her call for a credible, independent, thorough and impartial investigation into allegations of human rights abuses.
Given the complexity of the situation in Rakhine and the low degree of development, long-term peace will require a political process together with inclusive development. It is important to build trust, end displacement, ensure security for all inhabitants and ensure development and basic services for all. Solving the issues of citizenship and legal status of habitual residents of Myanmar is equally important. In this regard, we would appreciate reflections by the Special Rapporteur on how the international community best can assist the Government’s effort in finding lasting solutions.
As the Special Rapporteur emphasizes, Myanmar has enjoyed an opening up of democratic space during the recent years. However, we share her concern over the ongoing restrictions on the rights to freedoms of opinion and expression, including association and assembly, silencing of human rights defenders and continuing arrest of individuals in relation to the exercise of these rights.