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Human rights violation against Rohingyas: UNGA adopts resolution condemning Myanmar

  • Published at 10:10 am December 28th, 2019
UNGA
Resolution on 'Situation of human rights of Rohingya Muslims and other minorities in Myanmar' adopted at the 74th session of the UN General Assembly UNB

Resolution passed with 134 in favour, 9 against and 28 abstentions  

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has adopted a resolution, with overwhelming majority, condemning Myanmar for the human rights violations against the Rohingya Muslims and other minorities living in that country, according to Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials.

 The resolution, titled “Situation of human rights of Rohingya Muslims and other minorities in Myanmar,” also asked Myanmar to demonstrate genuine political goodwill to ensure the safe and sustainable return of the Rohingya Muslims, often described as one of the worst persecuted communities in the world.

Out of 193 members, 134 countries voted in favour of the resolution, 9 against, and 28 nations abstained in the voting on Friday. Twenty-two countries were absent.

The resolution called on the government of Myanmar to review the 1982 Citizenship Law, which led to the denial of rights to minorities, especially the Rohingyas.

The UNGA session also approved, by consensus, the regular budget allocation for operationalizing the independent investigative mechanism for Myanmar (IIMM), which was created by a UN Human Rights Council resolution in September 2018, said a press release forwarded by the Bangladesh permanent mission at UN in New York on Saturday.

The IIMM has replaced the independent international fact-finding mission on Myanmar.

Introduced by Saudi Arabia and jointly sponsored by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and the European Union, the draft of the resolution was passed on November 14 at the third committee of the UNGA that deals with human rights abuses across the globe.

The draft resolution was approved by a recorded vote of 140 in favour, 9 against and 32 abstentions. Twelve countries were absent at that time. 

Compared to the voting to approve the draft resolution, the number of votes in favour wentdown during the adoption of the resolution on Friday.

When asked, a senior Foreign Ministry official attributed this to the absence of some countries due to Christmas and the New Year holidays.  

This is the third time in a row that the UNGA has adopted a resolution condemning Myanmar for its atrocities against its own Rohingya population, and calling for ensuring the return of the displaced people with rights. But, since these resolutions are non-binding on the states, Naypyidaw’s stance remains nearly unchanged.

However, unlike the two previous resolutions, this one seems to put Myanmar under some added pressure as it came against the background of two ongoing judicial processes at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the principal judicial organ of the UN, and the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Although the UNGA resolutions are non-finding, these have moral values and reflect the opinion of the world, said the Foreign Ministry official.

The adoption of such resolution for the third time – the first two were on December 2017 and December 2018 – is an expression of the international community's continued solidarity with the cause of Rohingyas, according to the Bangladesh permanent mission in the UN.

The General Assembly endorsements of the Myanmar resolution and the IIMM are significant developments since they are expected to further strengthen the ongoing justice and accountability initiatives including at the ICJ and ICC, it said.