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Nordic Statement

Statement on behalf of Nordic countries, 5 December 2017.

As delievered by Ambassador Carsten Staur, Permanent Representative of Denmark.

Thank you Mr. President,        

I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Nordic countries: Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and my own country, Denmark.

The numerous reports bearing testimonies of systematic, widespread and coordinated violence directed against the members of ethnic and religious minorities, incl. the Rohingya community renders this Special Session very timely. The situation remains deeply concerning and demands our full attention.

We are deeply disturbed by the extremely serious accounts and reports of grave sexual and gender-based violence against women and girls and the abuse of children among the refugees arriving from Rakhine State. Violence is a severe violation of human rights and constitutes one of the most brutal forms of discrimination and injustice against women and girls. Ending such violence, addressing underlying causes, ensuring accountability and access to services should be given the highest political priority. In this regard, we welcome the request from the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) to the Government of Myanmar to submit a report on the situation of Rohingya women and girls from northern Rakhine State by 28 May 2017.

We welcome the participation of the UNSG’s Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Ms Patten, in this Special Session and appeal that attention to the grave abuses suffered by Rohingya women and girls, including sexual violence, should be integrated into all aspects of the international response to this human rights and humanitarian crisis.

It is the responsibility of the Government of Myanmar to ensure its population enjoys human rights without discrimination of any kind. Justice and accountability for violations and abuses of human rights are essential to ensure sustainable peace and reconciliation. We urge the government of Myanmar to grant all people of Myanmar a future without fear and intimidation.

Thank you.