General Assembly Informal Meeting With Un Secretary General’s Special Envoy on Myanmar Statement by H.E. Mr. Feridun H. Sinirlioğlu Permanent Representative of Turkey

Feridun H. Sinirlioğlu 26.02.2021
Mr President,

I thank you for convening this important and timely meeting and for your comprehensive statement.

I would also like to thank Special Envoy Ms. Burgener for her briefing.

I also wish to pay tribute to our colleague from Myanmar and commend him for his valiant speech and principled position.

Mr President,

We are deeply concerned and strongly condemn the coup d’etat that took place in Myanmar on the 1st of February.

Let us be clear: Any step to undermine the civilian rule is unacceptable.

Any effort to challenge the democratic processes is illegitimate.

There is no alternative to elected government which represent the will of the people.

Make no mistake: Military interventions do not bring stability, security or prosperity.

Military interventions result in suffering of the people.

Military rule means systematic violation of human rights.

Military takeover is the cause of more major socio-economic problems all over the world.

Today, the international community must be united to give a strong and clear message: Military uniforms have no place in politics. Democracy is the only legitimate form of governance and democratic processes must be respected.

Mr. President,

We call on military authorities in Myanmar to immediately release all elected officials, politicians and other detained civilians.

All restrictions placed on the elected leaders and democratic institutions must be removed.

The elections that took place on 8 November 2020 was hailed by the international community as open and fair. We call for the reconvening of the new parliament that was formed through the free will of the Myanmar people after the elections, and restoration of the democratically elected government as soon as possible.

We are also deeply concerned about the prospects of escalation of the crisis by violent suppression of protests following the declaration of martial law.

The military must show restraint and respect people’s right to assemble peacefully and express their opinions.

Turkey will continue to closely monitor the human rights situation in Myanmar through the UN mechanisms. We were among the countries that supported convening of the Special Session of the Human Rights Council on Myanmar on 12th February. We have also co-sponsored the resolution adopted by consensus at that session.

Mr. President,

The military intervention also risks worsening the already dire humanitarian situation and the vulnerability of refugees and internally displaced persons. I would like to particularly underline the ongoing plight of Rohingya Muslims in the country.

We urge the Myanmar military to ensure free and unhindered humanitarian access to all conflict-affected areas and vulnerable communities.

We are seriously concerned that the current developments also reduce the prospects for the voluntary, safe, and dignified return of Rohingya refugees. We expect Myanmar military to continue working with UN institutions towards creating conducive conditions for their return.

We call on military authorities to fully implement the recommendations of the Rakhine Advisory Commission and the Independent Commission of Inquiry to address the root causes of conflict and to ensure accountability for serious human rights violations in the country.

We urge Myanmar to fully comply with the provisional measures ordered by the International Court of Justice in January 2020, as the first international court ruling against Myanmar since the atrocities have started.

It is a strong ruling and has given hope to Rohingya Muslims around the world.

We commend the remarkable and exemplary work of Gambia who demonstrated the importance of human rights and dignity, and has made it a national priority to fight for the Rohingya.

Lastly, let me extend our support to the Secretary General’s call to urgently allow the Special Envoy to visit Myanmar and assess the situation first hand.

Turkey will continue to follow the situation in Myanmar and to encourage the authorities to return to the democratic path as soon as possible.

Thank you.