Statement by the delegation of Ukraine at the UNSC session on the situation in Myanmar

As prepared. Check against delivery.

Mr. President,

We thank those delegations who initiated convening this briefing for the Security Council to discuss in the transparent manner the current situation in the Rakhine State of Myanmar. We also thank the Secretary General for his informative briefing.

This discussion is particularly timely in light of the plight of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians who left their homes fleeing violence.

As others in this Council, we strongly condemn the upsurge in violence in Myanmar’s western Rakhine State that led to numerous civilian casualties and enormous sufferings.

Let me underscore from the very outset that any targeting of civilian population, infringements on their human rights and other abuses are totally unacceptable. Impunity of perpetrators must not be tolerated. Steps must be taken to address numerous reports of attacks, especially against women.

As we know, the recent disturbing developments were triggered by the deadly attacks of the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) against security forces committed on August 25, 2017. As the UN Security Council, we should also look at the information about the possible involvement of external terrorist factors into inflaming violence in Rakhine.

While Myanmar’s security forces took steps to respond to the attacks, we are particularly concerned about mounting evidence of grave human rights violations, committed in the course of the military operation in the province. We call on the authorities to show restraint, respect the rule of law and protect civilian population.

Ukraine is seriously concerned by the continuously worsening humanitarian situation of hundreds of thousands of refugees and IDPs and stresses the need to ensure unhindered access of humanitarian actors to those in need. Taking this opportunity, we express our support to the Government of Bangladesh in its efforts to provide shelter and aid for the Rohingya refugees.

Considering the staggering numbers of displaced persons and refugees, the least the Government could do in this situation is to halt all military activities in Rakhine. The cycle of violence has to be stopped before it’s too late.

We understand that the situation in Rakhine State is an extremely complicated and sensitive issue that cannot be solved in a short run. We note the efforts of the new Government of Myanmar to address those challenges, including the establishment of the Central Committee for the Implementation of Peace, Stability and Development in Rakhine State chaired by State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi as well as Advisory Commission on Rakhine State chaired by Dr. Kofi Annan.

We welcome the release by the Advisory Commission of its final report as well as readiness of the Myanmar Government to carry out its recommendations to full extent and within the short time frame. We are confident that implementation of Report’s recommendations could help address complex challenges in Rakhine State and achieve peace and stability in the region. Concrete steps are urgently needed because what is doable and within reach today, may not be there tomorrow.

We strongly encourage the Government of Myanmar to seize the chance it still has and prevent the current situation from deteriorating into a full-blown regional crisis. I am sure that nobody around this table wants to see the worst-case scenario materialized. It means that we all have to do our duty – the Security Council as a body responsible for maintaining international peace and security and the Government of Myanmar as the primary entity responsible for the well-being of its people.

Thank you.