Explanation of Position on agenda item 69 (c) on the resolution, "Human Rights Situation in Myanmar" in the Third Committee of the General Assembly

Ambassador Elizabeth Cousens
U.S. Representative to ECOSOC 
New York, NY
November 26, 2012


Thank you Mr. Chair, the United States is proud to co-sponsor this landmark resolution. We commend the government of Burma and its Mission to the United Nations as well as the European Union and all other delegations whose dedicated efforts made this consensus possible.

Over the past 18 months, Burma has made notable progress toward building the foundations of a sustainable democracy. Today’s resolution sets clear benchmarks for continued progress through building democratic institutions founded in respect for the rule of law and human rights. It also addresses the international community’s concern with ongoing violence in Rakhine State and calls upon the government to resolve this violence through a policy integration, reconciliation, and mutual respect in order to build peaceful coexistence among all communities.

Just recently, President Thien Sein made additional commitments to human rights protections including announcing the restoration of ICRC access to prisons and prisoners, creation of a transparent and credible process to review all remaining political prisoner cases by December of this year, and renewal of its commitment to reach a ceasefire in Kachin State and facilitate access for international humanitarian organizations to affected populations in ethnic minority and conflict areas.

The government also announced its intention to become a full member of the open government partnership by the end of 2016. We welcome the president’s announcement of these various steps, stand ready to offer support for their implementation, and look forward to continuing to work with the government and civil society to build a peaceful, prosperous, and democratic future.

Finally, with respect to the work of the Special Advisor of the Secretary General, whose mandate we fully support, the United States understands the continuation of his work as called for in this resolution, to be achieved within existing resources.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.


PRN: 2012/296