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MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on Myanmar, notably the situation of Rohingyas

5.7.2016 - (2016/2809(RSP))

with request for inclusion in the agenda for a debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law
pursuant to Rule 135 of the Rules of Procedure

Charles Tannock, Mark Demesmaeker, Ryszard Antoni Legutko, Tomasz Piotr Poręba, Ryszard Czarnecki, Karol Karski, Zdzisław Krasnodębski, Raffaele Fitto, Arne Gericke, Monica Macovei, Notis Marias, Angel Dzhambazki, Valdemar Tomaševski, Ruža Tomašić on behalf of the ECR Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0910/2016

Förfarande : 2016/2809(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on Myanmar, notably the situation of Rohingyas


The European Parliament,

-having regard to its previous resolutions on Myanmar and on the situation of Rohingya Muslims, in particular the one of 21 May 2015,


-having regard to the Council Conclusions on the EU strategy with Myanmar/Burma of 20 June 2016,


-having regard to the joint communication by the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to the European Parliament and the Council: ‘Elements for an EU strategy vis-à-vis Myanmar/Burma: A Special Partnership for Democracy, Peace and Prosperity’,


-having regard to the statement by HR/VP Federica Mogherini on the entry into office of the new Government of the Union of Myanmar,


-having regard to the joint press release on the second EU-Myanmar Human Rights Dialogue of 18 June 2015,


-having regard to the report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights: ‘Situation of human rights of Rohingya Muslims and other minorities in Myanmar’, of 29 June 2016,


-having regard to the resolution adopted by the Human Rights Council on 24 March 2016 - 31/24, ‘Situation of human rights in Myanmar’,


-having regard to the report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar of 18 March 2016,


-having regard to the 1951 UN Convention on the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol thereto,


-having regard to Articles 18 - 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) of 1948,

-having regard to Article 25 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) of 1966,

-having regard to Rule 135 of its Rules of Procedure,


A. Whereas, since 2011, Myanmar has taken significant steps to reform its economy and political system; whereas in November 2015 a new national Parliament was elected and in March 2016 a democratically elected national Government was installed;


B. Whereas in response, the EU and other global players have lifted sanctions and allowed Myanmar to reintegrate in global political and economic structures; whereas the EU and its Member States have played a significant role in the reform and opening up process and have contributed with, among others, significant development aid, training and technical cooperation, supervision of the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement and trade under the Everything But Arms (EBA) facility; whereas the EU and Myanmar hold annual human rights dialogues;


C. Whereas many problems persist however, including in the area of human rights and in particular regarding the situation of the Rohingya Muslim minority; whereas Sakharov and Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, who is now part of the new Government of Myanmar, has remained largely silent on the issue of the Rohingyas;


D. Whereas the approximately 1 million Rohingyas are one of the world’s most persecuted minorities who are officially stateless since the 1982 Burmese Citizenship Law; whereas the Rohingyas are unwanted by the authorities of Myanmar and by the neighbouring countries, although some of those host large refugee populations;


E. Whereas the authorities of Myanmar continue to deny the Rohingyas their most basic rights, many thousands risk their lives every year in an attempt to flee by land or sea and many have perished on the way or ended up in situations of exploitation;


F. Whereas in 2013, the Special Advisor of the UN Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide warned that failing to address the immediate consequences and root causes of violence between Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims could have “serious consequences which the international community has solemnly promised to prevent”;


G. Whereas problems persist regarding a number of other minorities as well;


H. Whereas there are still serious problems with Myanmar’s legislation, with several key laws in violation of international human rights conventions, including Myanmar’s Penal Code, the Peaceful Assembly and Peaceful Processions Law, the Telecommunications Act, the News Media Law and the four bills “on the protection of race and religion”;


I. Whereas in the past years many political prisoners have been release, but many new human rights defenders, journalists, critics of government and military and others have been arrested under broad and vaguely worded provisions as they were peacefully exercising their democratic rights;


1. Congratulates Myanmar with the successful steps taken so far on its path towards democracy and human rights, including notably the installation of a democratically elected government in March 2016;


2. Urges the Government and the civil authorities of Myanmar to now end the terrible discrimination and segregation of the Rohingyas; furthermore, urges the Government of Myanmar to use its parliamentary majority to repeal or amend the many military and colonial-era laws used to criminalize peaceful speech and assembly;


3. Calls on the Government of Myanmar to reform the 1982 Citizenship Law and to restore citizenship of the Rohingya minority; urges the Government of Myanmar and the Rakhine State authorities to immediately start registering all children at birth;


4. Calls on the Government of Myanmar to lift all unnecessary, discriminatory and disproportional restrictions in Rakhine State;


5. Calls on the Government of Myanmar to combat trafficking of persons and transnational organized crime;


6. Recommends that the governments of the countries that cope with the influx of Rohingya refugees cooperate closely with UNHCR which has the technical expertise to screen for refugee status and the mandate to protect refugees and stateless people; urges those countries to not push the Rohingya refugees back, at least until a satisfactory and dignified solution for their situation has been found;


7. Urges the Government of Myanmar to immediately release all political prisoners and those arrested based on charges that violate international human rights law and norms;


8. Calls on the Government of Myanmar to continue to improve its cooperation with the UN, including Special Procedures Mandate holders;


9. Calls on Sakharov Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi to use her key positions in the Government of Myanmar to improve the situation of the Rohingya minority;


10. Calls on the EEAS to continue the regular bilateral human rights dialogue and to discuss the situation regarding problematic legislation and discrimination of minorities, in particular the Rohingyas, in detail and to report back to the European Parliament regarding the outcome of these discussions;


11. Calls on the EU to support the UNHRC in its efforts to help Rohingya refugees in the South and Southeast Asia region;


12. Calls on the EU and its Member States to continue their support of the new democratic structures of Myanmar and to focus in particular on technical cooperation to help improve the various state functions;


13. Calls on the EU and its Member States to support the UNHCR Global 2014-24 Action Plan to End Statelessness;


14. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Government and Parliament of Myanmar, the HR/VP, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the EU Member States, the Secretary General of ASEAN, the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights, the UN Special Representative for Human Rights in Myanmar, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the UN Human Rights Council.