India has said that it is “still not convinced” about the impact the UN Security Council resolution would have in making progress towards resolving the long-standing issues in Myanmar, including an immediate end to violence in the neighbouring country and the release of political prisoners like Aung San Suu Kyi.
The 15-nation Security Council, under India’s Presidency this month, adopted its first-ever resolution on Myanmar on Wednesday.
The resolution reiterated the call by the 15-member Council for the country to uphold democratic institutions and respect human rights.
Twelve members voted in favour, none against, while India, China and Russia abstained.
“As Myanmar's neighbour, we are still not convinced about the impact this resolution would have in making progress towards a resolution of the issues in Myanmar. However, we do hope that all parties in the country will abjure all violence and return to the path of dialogue,” India’s Permanent Representative to the UN and President of the 15-nation UN Security Council for the month of December Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj said on Thursday.
The resolution urged the Myanmar military to immediately release all arbitrarily detained prisoners, including President Win Myint and Suu Kyi.
It reiterated its call to uphold democratic institutions and processes and to pursue constructive dialogue and reconciliation in accordance with the will and interests of the people of Myanmar and urged all parties to respect human rights, fundamental freedoms and rule of law.
In a wrap-up briefing for non-members of the Security Council on its work for the month of December before the holiday week, Kamboj said that the Council adopted the resolution on Myanmar on Wednesday and its key takeaway was that it demands an immediate end to all forms of violence in the country.
It urges all parties in Myanmar to work constructively with the ASEAN Special Envoy and the UN special envoy to commence dialogue to seek a peaceful solution in the interests of the people of Myanmar and also reiterates the Council’s support for the ASEAN process.
This was the first Security Council resolution adopted on Myanmar in 74 years.
The only other UNSC resolution on Myanmar was in 1948, after the country formerly known as Burma got independence from Great Britain, when the Council recommended to the General Assembly “that the Union of Burma” be admitted to membership in the United Nations.
Kamboj, presiding over the Council meeting, had delivered the explanation of vote in her national capacity and said New Delhi believed that the complex situation in Myanmar calls for an approach of “quiet and patient diplomacy”.
She said that any other course will not help in resolving the long standing issues which have prevented enduring peace, stability, progress and democratic governance.
“Under the current circumstances, we are of the considered view that a UN Security Council resolution may entrench the parties in their inflexible positions rather than encourage them to pursue an inclusive political dialogue,” she said.
Kamboj, however, asserted that India strongly called upon all parties for an immediate cessation of hostilities, abandon their extreme positions and immediately initiate an inclusive political dialogue for the restoration of democracy.
“Political leaders should be released and allowed to resume political activities,” she said.
India underlined that the UN system should assist the parties in dialogue so that the state of emergency comes to an end and Myanmar returns to the path of democracy.
“It is therefore important to carefully weigh actions by this Council. Quiet and constructive diplomacy is the desirable recourse to seeking constructive and enduring solutions in Myanmar,” Kamboj said, adding that the consequences of instability will affect the neighbouring countries the most and it is therefore important to consider their views and perspectives seriously.
“In view of these concerns and our firm commitment to the democratic process and the well being of the people of Myanmar, India decided to abstain on this resolution,” Kamboj noted.
Kamboj said that India shares nearly 1,700 kilometres-long border with Myanmar and has historical and cultural links with its people.
“As such, any instability in the country impacts us directly. Resolving the current crisis and maintenance of peace, stability and prosperity in Myanmar is therefore of direct interest to our national security. The welfare of the people of Myanmar remains our utmost priority and is at the core of all our efforts,” she added.