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Procedure : 2021/2540(RSP)
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RC-B9-0116/2021

Debates :

PV 09/02/2021 - 12
CRE 09/02/2021 - 12

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Texts adopted :

P9_TA(2021)0054

Texts adopted
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Thursday, 11 February 2021 - Brussels
The situation in Myanmar
P9_TA-PROV(2021)0054RC-B9-0116/2021

European Parliament resolution of 11 February 2021 on the situation in Myanmar (2021/2540(RSP))

The European Parliament,

—  having regard to its previous resolutions on Myanmar and on the situation of the Rohingya, in particular those of 22 November 2012(1), 20 April 2012(2), 20 May 2010(3), 25 November 2010(4), 7 July 2016(5), 15 December 2016(6), 14 September 2017(7), 14 June 2018(8), 13 September 2018(9)and 19 September 2019(10),

—  having regard to the Council conclusions of 26 February 2018 and of 10 December 2018 on Myanmar/Burma,

—  having regard to the Council decision of 23 April 2020 to renew existing restrictive measures against Myanmar for a further twelve months,

—  having regard to the 6th European Union-Myanmar Human Rights Dialogue held on 14 October 2020 by video conference,

—  having regard to the statement of the Vice President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) of 1 February 2021 on Myanmar,

—  having regard to the Declaration on Myanmar by the VP/HR on behalf of the European Union of 2 February 2021,

—  having regard to the UN Security Council report by the Secretary-General on conflict-related sexual violence published on 23 March 2018 (S/2018/250),

—  having regard to the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) reports on Myanmar and the situation of human rights of Rohingya Muslims and other minorities,

—  having regard to the report of the UNIFFM of 22 August 2019 on sexual and gender-based violence in Myanmar and the gendered impact of its ethnic conflicts (A/HRC/42/CRP.4),

—  having regard to the reports by the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the reports by the ILO supervisory mechanism,

—  having regard to the International Court of Justice’s Order of 23 January 2020 on the Request for the indication of provisional measures submitted by the Republic of the Gambia in the case concerning the Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (The Gambia v. Myanmar),

—  having regard to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the additional protocols thereto,

—  having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948,

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

—  having regard to the 1948 UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide,

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

—  having regard to the joint statement by diplomatic missions in Myanmar of 29 January 2021 on support for Myanmar’s democratic transition and efforts to promote peace, human rights, and development in the country,

—  having regard to the statement of 1 February 2021 by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) on Myanmar,

—  having regard to the G7 Foreign Ministers’ statement of 3 February 2021 condemning the coup in Myanmar,

—  having regard to the UN Security Council’s press statement of 5 February 2021 on Myanmar,

—  having regard to the press statement of 4 February 2021 by UN Secretary-General António Guterres,

—  having regard to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Chair’s statement of 1 February 2021 on the developments in the Republic of the Union of Myanmar,

—  having regard to the ICCPR,

—  having regard to the statements by the UN Special Rapporteur for Myanmar, Tom Andrews,

—  having regard to Rule 132(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas, on 1 February 2021, the military of Myanmar, known as the Tatmadaw, in a clear violation of the constitution of Myanmar, arrested President Win Myint and State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, as well as leading members of the government, seized power over the legislative, judicial and executive branches of government through a coup d’état, and issued a one-year state of emergency;

B.  whereas in response to the coup, protests broke out in various cities in Myanmar; whereas on 7 February 2021, approximately 100 000 people peacefully took part in a demonstration against the coup in Yangon; whereas since 1 February 2021, approximately 164 politicians, governmental officials, civil society representatives, monks and writers have been unlawfully arrested or put under house arrest; whereas, in response to the continued protests, on 8 February the military declared martial law in the country’s biggest cities, imposing an overnight curfew and banning all gatherings of more than five people;

C.  whereas the National League for Democracy (NLD) party emerged victorious from the parliamentary elections held in Myanmar on 8 November 2020, winning 396 out of 476 seats (roughly 83 % of all available seats); whereas these were the second contested elections after almost 50 years of military dictatorship, whereas the Tatmadaw-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) won only 33 seats; whereas the NLD party further increased its vote share from the 2015 elections, which had been the first democratic elections in Myanmar since 1990, at which the NLD won 360 seats and the USDP won 41; whereas the military had already refused to recognise the 1990 elections at which the NLD won 392 of the 492 seats;

D.  whereas the voter turnout at all democratic elections was consistently around 70 %, thus demonstrating the people of Myanmar’s support for democracy;

E.  whereas the new parliament was to convene for the first time on the day of the coup; whereas the military coup ignores the democratically expressed will of the people of Myanmar, and mirrors the Tatmadaw’s intention to once again seize complete power over Myanmar, just as it did during its military rule – which officially ended in 2012, but in reality has never ended; whereas the Tatmadaw stated that new elections would be held after the now-imposed one year state of emergency, implying an absence of parliamentary representation throughout this period;

F.  whereas despite the coup, on 4 February 2021, 70 MPs-elect took the parliamentary oath of office, pledging to continue to conduct the function of parliament and to carry out their mandate as representatives of the people;

G.  whereas the Tatmadaw, clearly conscious of its low level of support among the population, refused to accept the election results and referred to widespread voter fraud without presenting any evidence; whereas Myanmar’s election commission and election observers did not confirm the Tatmadaw’s allegations; whereas the Tatmadaw and its political proxy, the USDP, have increased allegations of electoral irregularities in recent weeks, calling on the Union Election Commission of Myanmar to intervene; whereas the military organises demonstrations in support of the military; whereas an estimated 1,5 million voters from ethnic minorities in conflict-affected areas, most of them Rohingya, were not allowed to participate in the election; whereas Myanmar’s Citizenship Law declares the Rohingya ‘non-national’ or ‘foreign residents’, depriving them of citizenship;

H.  whereas this coup d’état constitutes a clear violation of the 2008 constitution of Myanmar; whereas the Constitution of Myanmar provides that only the President can effectively end civilian rule; whereas the 1 February 2021 military coup was therefore unconstitutional since President Win Myint was unlawfully arrested;

I.  whereas the Tatmadaw installed General Myint Swe as interim president; whereas the commander-in-chief of the military, General Min Aung Hlaing, who is on international sanctions lists due to his participation in the persecution of the Muslim minority, is likely to remain the key decision-maker;

J.  whereas since the coup, the Tatmadaw has severely limited the space for civil society, and issued severe restrictions on the media, including complete blackouts of the internet and social-media platforms; whereas the Tatmadaw is being accused by international observers of using fake news to manipulate public opinion about the coup; whereas nationwide social media restrictions have been implemented and the television exclusively broadcasts the military-owned Myawaddy TV channel;

K.  whereas the military had made a habit of sidelining political rivals and critics by charging them with arcane offences; whereas Aung San Suu Kyi was arrested and later charged with illegally importing at least 10 walkie-talkies; whereas ousted President Win Myint was detained on 1 February 2021 for violating emergency coronavirus regulations and stands accused of greeting a car full of supporters during the electoral campaign last year; whereas if found guilty, both Aung San Suu Kyi and Win Myint could face up to three years in prison; whereas holding a criminal record could preclude them from returning to public office;

L.  whereas approximately 100 groups have joined the Civil Disobedience Movement, which has called for strikes in the medical service, among other sectors;

M.  whereas Myanmar has a long history of democratic struggle and military suppression; whereas since its independence from Britain in 1948, in particular over the long period of 1962-2015, the military held a firm grip on power, restricting any democratic progress, including civil society organisations, limiting human rights, and imprisoning opposition activists, including the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, who was under house arrest during large parts of the period between 1989 and 2010;

N.  whereas the current constitution entered into force in 2008, and whereas, prior to the elections, human rights organisations raised concerns given that it guarantees 25 % of the seats in parliament to the Tatmadaw and hence effectively grants the military the power to veto any further constitutional changes, which should require 75 % of votes; whereas the constitution further ensures that the Tatmadaw maintains full control of the security forces, the police, and the Ministries of Home Affairs, Defence and Border Affairs;

O.  whereas following a series of protests and internal struggles, the country started to gradually open up democratically in the early 2010s, which led to increased civil liberties, including slow democratic progress, visible through the general elections of 2015 as well as a series of by-elections which were all largely won by the opposition NLD;

P.  whereas given this delicate overall situation, Myanmar, while having a semi-democratic and civilian government since 2015, remained in a fragile and tense state, given that the pro-democracy forces and the Tatmadaw, despite largely shared views about certain economic development projects and economic reforms, had fundamentally different visions about the country’s future path;

Q.  whereas the democratic opening in Myanmar, which has taken place since the 2010s, was largely motivated by the need to economically develop the country, since it had been suffering under strict international sanctions as a result of its military rule and devastating human rights record; whereas as a result of the cautious democratic reforms, certain international sanctions were slowly rolled back, which therefore allowed for economic development, and benefited large parts of the population of Myanmar; whereas the coup restores the state before the democratisation processes and undermines the conditions for granting ‘Everything But Arms’ (EBA) preferences and the roll-back of sanctions;

R.  whereas human rights violations, in particular against the Muslim minority in Myanmar – especially the Rohingya –, which the Government of Myanmar has failed to recognise as an ethnic group of its country, continued after the democratic opening and tragically culminated in atrocities being committed in 2017, which the UN characterised as ethnic cleansing, and led to a massive exodus of refugees towards neighbouring Bangladesh; whereas the Rohingya minority, despite numerous calls by the international community, continue to be persecuted in Myanmar to this very day;

S.  whereas international calls to stop ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya and to improve their situation were largely ignored by the Government of Myanmar; whereas as a consequence, in September 2019 Parliament ultimately suspended Aung San Suu Kyi, then State Counsellor and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Myanmar, from its Sakharov human rights prize community for her failure to act against these well-documented human rights violations; whereas international sanctions over human rights violations have since been issued against the military and the ruling Commander-in-Chief General Min Aung Hlaing, among other people;

T.  whereas there are numerous ethnic groups in Myanmar, including the Rohingya, Karen, Rakhine, Shan and Chin peoples; whereas internal conflicts have led to the tragic loss of thousands of lives over the past decades; whereas recent clashes in Kayin State have led to 4 000 people being displaced since December 2020 alone; whereas in recent years, the military has allegedly committed serious human rights violations and atrocities, including rape and war crimes, prompting the International Criminal Court (ICC) to open an investigation with specific regard to the situation of the Rohingya minority; whereas the IIFFMM has called for the investigation and prosecution of General Min Aung Hlaing for genocide in the north of Rakhine State, as well as for crimes against humanity and war crimes in Rakhine, Kachin and Shan States;

U.  whereas the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) Order of 23 January 2020 indicated provisional measures in the case relating to the Genocide Convention and the Rohingya brought by The Gambia against Myanmar; whereas Myanmar’s Government, with Aung San Suu Kyi leading its defence at the ICJ, has called the genocide allegations a misleading and incomplete factual picture of the situation; whereas Myanmar’s Government has taken a limited number of steps to counter human rights violations through several presidential directives; whereas the Government has yet to amend or repeal key laws that facilitate discrimination against the Rohingya, including the 1982 Citizenship Law;

V.  whereas the EU has consistently called for those responsible for such crimes to be held to account and sponsored the resolutions adopted at the UN HRC of 27 September 2018 and at the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly of 16 November 2018; whereas the most senior military figures who supervised the attacks against the Rohingya remain in their posts and have participated in the coup; whereas Parliament has on numerous occasions expressed its condemnation of human rights violations and the systematic and widespread attacks against the Rohingya population;

W.  whereas since 2013, the European Union has politically and financially supported Myanmar’s process of democratic transition and has undertaken enormous efforts to promote peace, human rights and development in the country; whereas in October 2015, the EU signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement as an international witness, reflecting its key role in supporting the peace process; whereas the EU allocated EUR 688 million in development support to Myanmar over the 2014-2020 period; whereas Myanmar benefits from trade preferences under the EBA scheme, which allows duty-free and quota-free access to the EU’s single market; whereas the EBA enhanced engagement process was already launched in 2018, focusing on compliance on human rights conventions and labour rights;

X.  whereas on 23 April 2020, the Council extended the restrictive measures on Myanmar by one year until 30 April 2021, including asset freezes and travel bans on 14 senior military, border guard and police officials in Myanmar responsible for human rights violations committed against the Rohingya population, ethnic minority villagers and civilians in Rakhine, Kachin and Shan States; whereas no restrictive measures have been imposed on General Min Aung Hlaing or Deputy Commander-in-Chief General Soe Win;

Y.  whereas some 600 000 Rohingya are estimated to remain in Rakhine State, and are being subjected to persistent discriminatory policies and practices, systematic violations of their fundamental rights, arbitrary arrests, confinement in overcrowded camps, a lack of freedom of movement and severely limited access to education and healthcare;

Z.  whereas the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had transferred USD 350 million in emergency coronavirus financing to Myanmar the week prior to the coup;

AA.  whereas the Tatmadaw and its generals are faced with widespread allegations of corruption and are deeply involved in the economy of Myanmar, since they own powerful conglomerates, control the country’s trade in precious jade and timber, manage infrastructure such as ports and dams, and run banks, insurance, hospitals, gyms and the media; whereas the military coup puts at risk the continuing involvement of international investment, tourism and finance;

AB.  whereas the coup was met with condemnation, criticism and concern by a wide range of international actors such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, India, Australia, Canada; whereas the ASEAN Chair issued a statement encouraging ‘dialogue, reconciliation and the return to normalcy’; whereas on 5 February 2021 Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin called for a dedicated ASEAN meeting on the matter;

AC.  whereas UN Secretary-General Guterres called the coup ‘absolutely unacceptable’; whereas the UN Security Council issued a press statement expressing ‘deep concern’ over the military takeover in Myanmar, calling for the immediate release of the country’s elected leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, and President Win Myint; whereas China and Russia prevented a stronger text from being adopted by the UN Security Council; whereas on 7 February 2021, UN Special Rapporteur for Myanmar Tom Andrews published a statement urging the UN Human Rights Council, among other stakeholders, to immediately convene a Special Session;

AD.  whereas the Pre-Trial Chamber III of the International Criminal Court decided on 14 November 2019 to authorise an investigation into the crime of deportation of Rohingya people from Myanmar to Bangladesh; whereas according to the latest UNIFFM report of 16 September 2019, the actions of the Myanmar Government continue to be part of a widespread and systematic attack against the remaining Rohingya in Rakhine State that amounts to persecution and other crimes against humanity;

1.  Expresses its sympathy and support for the people of Myanmar in their peaceful and legitimate struggle for democracy, freedom and human rights;

2.  Strongly condemns the military takeover of 1 February 2021 orchestrated by the Tatmadaw, under the leadership of General Min Aung Hlaing, on 1 February 2021 as a coup d’état and calls on the Tatmadaw to fully respect the outcome of the democratic elections of November 2020 and, in order not to jeopardise all the democratic progress achieved in past years, to immediately reinstate the civilian government, end the state of emergency, and allow all elected parliamentarians to assume their mandates in order to restore constitutional order and democratic norms; urges the EU and its Member States and the international community to withhold recognition of Myanmar’s military leadership, including General Min Aung Hlaing, General Soe Win, and acting President Myint Swe, and to act accordingly;

3.  Calls for the immediate and unconditional release of President Win Myint, State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, and all others who have been illegally arrested under the pretext of fake elections or fraudulent election results or other unfounded accusations that have no merit; reminds the Tatmadaw that these kind of allegations further reduce its domestic and international credibility; underlines that the military of Myanmar must clarify on what legal basis those arrested have been detained and that it must also guarantee that their rights are fully respected, including protection against ill treatment, and that they have access to lawyers of their own choice and to their families;

4.  Denounces the Tatmadaw’s crackdown on independent activists, the media and civil society organisations in the wake of the coup; calls for the immediate release of all civil society activists, monks and journalists arrested solely for expressing dissent, and insists that their right to peacefully protest against this illegitimate coup may not be impeded and that civilians may not be subject to reprisals in any form;

5.  Welcomes the organisation of the second democratic general elections in Myanmar of 8 November 2020 and calls on all parties concerned to strictly respect the will of Myanmar’s people; urges all parties to resume Myanmar’s democratic transition; insists that both houses of the Assembly of the Union be convened immediately to allow for their inauguration and the appointment of the country’s highest leadership, including the president, vice-presidents and the new civilian government, in a fully transparent and democratic manner; reiterates the offer made by the VP/HR, in which he stated that the European Union was ready to support dialogue with all key stakeholders who wish to resolve the situation in good faith and to return constitutional order to Myanmar;

6.  Calls on the Tatmadaw to respect the general election result of 8 November 2020, to immediately end the state of emergency and to hand power over to the elected civil authorities; recalls that any allegations of electoral irregularities must be supported with evidence and investigated through the proper democratic channels, with full respect for the decision of the legitimate authorities; takes the view that the current UEC as appointed by the Tatmadaw on 3 February 2021 is illegitimate and unable to certify any past and future election results; insists that the previous UEC must be reinstated without delay;

7.  Urges the military and the rightfully elected Government of Myanmar under President Win Myint to initiate a free and fair process of drafting and implementing a new constitution together with the people of Myanmar, in order to deliver true democracy and a state that works for the well-being and the prosperity of all people in Myanmar, specifically guaranteeing the recognition and representation of all ethnic groups in Myanmar including the Rohingya, and that ensures security, freedom, harmony and peace for all;

8.  Strongly criticises the restriction of civil and human rights, as well as the restrictions on the freedom of expression and assembly, and in this light also strongly condemns the curtailing of media freedom through blacking out the internet and restricting and blocking social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter;

9.  Underlines that blackouts on telecommunications pose an additional threat to the population, in addition to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, as does the ongoing internal conflict involving armed groups, which puts civilians at risk in several parts of the country; emphasises, therefore, that full phone and internet services must be resumed immediately;

10.  Highlights the statement made by the VP/HR, in which he said that the European Union expected the safety of the citizens of both Myanmar and of its Member States to be ensured at all times and that the EU would consider all options at its disposal to ensure that democracy prevails;

11.  Salutes the people of Myanmar, who have endured decades of military rule and despite having only benefited from limited democratic freedoms pursue their quest for a democratic Myanmar, and applauds them for the impressive turnout of roughly 70 % at the 2020 elections, which is a clear indicator of its citizens’ wish to participate in the democratic governing of their country;

12.  Reiterates its firm support to civil society and democracy advocates in Myanmar and calls for the EU and its institutions to continue efforts aimed at civil society advancement, despite current and possibly ongoing limitations imposed by the current military government;

13.  Reaffirms its core belief that democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights are fundamental in order to achieve sustainable and truly inclusive economic growth and prosperity;

14.  Reiterates that, despite her failure to adequately condemn the human rights violations against minorities in Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi continues to be the symbol of the people of Myanmar when it comes to democratic aspirations and ambitions for a more just and democratic future;

15.  Expresses its concern about the increased level of falsified and manipulated information circulated by the Tatmadaw in Myanmar, and sees the increasingly presence of such ‘fake news’ in Myanmar as a worrying trend;

16.  Recalls that Myanmar must fulfil its obligations and commitments in relation to democratic principles and human rights, which are an essential component of the EBA scheme; urges the Commission to launch an investigation pursuant to Article 19(1)(a) of the GSP Regulation with a view to suspending the trade preferences that Myanmar, and especially companies owned by members of the military, benefits from in specific sectors, and to keep Parliament duly informed; urges the EU and its Member States to increase pressure on the Tatmadaw and take any measure at their disposal to ensure the return to power of the elected authorities; calls on the Commission, without ruling out any possible measures including the preparation of sanctions against those responsible for the coup, to prepare gradual punitive matters to react adequately to the existing violations and any possible further violations, while bearing in mind the positive effects of previously granted trade preferences on civil society and the civil economy;

17.  Urges the Commission to issue urgent advisories to EU-based businesses alerting them to the human rights, reputational and legal risks of doing business with Myanmar’s military; strongly urges EU-based businesses to conduct thorough human rights due diligence, and to ensure they have no ties with Myanmar’s security forces, their individual members, or entities owned or controlled by them, and that they are not contributing, directly or indirectly, to the military’s crackdown on democracy and human rights; calls on EU-based undertakings, including parent holdings and subsidiaries, to urgently re-evaluate their business ties in Myanmar and suspend any relationships with companies linked to the military; points to the current preparations for corporate due diligence legislation imposing human rights due diligence obligations on EU companies and companies operating in the single market, ensuring that companies that contribute or have links to violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in Myanmar are held accountable in accordance with national law;

18.  Calls for the EU institutions and other international financial organisations to closely scrutinise the financial activities of the Tatmadaw and its members and to elaborate on what kind of appropriate measures could be taken in case the situation in Myanmar fails to improve or even deteriorates further;

19.  Calls on the EU and the Member States to foster international coordination in order to prevent any unauthorised goods from being illegally exported from Myanmar, specifically benefiting the military economically, and to end the production of illegal goods, especially the exploitation of natural resources such as illegally harvested wood;

20.  Calls on the Council to review, and possibly amend, the EU’s arms embargo on Myanmar to ensure that surveillance equipment and dual-use products that can be used by the military in its crackdown on rights and dissent are covered by the embargo;

21.  Calls on the EU to continue programmes that help the country’s citizens and to step up support where necessary in the light of the current crisis, including humanitarian assistance and democracy support initiatives; commends the decision of 1 July 2020 by Austria, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Poland to suspend Myanmar’s debt repayment of USD 98 million to help the country to manage the severe impact of the COVID-19 pandemic; urges the Member States to ensure that development aid is not funnelled through Myanmar government channels, which are now in the hands of the Tatmadaw;

22.  Is of the opinion that ASEAN can serve as a channel for aid from the international community to Myanmar if needed, as it did after Cyclone Nargis devastated Myanmar in 2008; further encourages ASEAN to play an active role in mediating the current crisis in Myanmar; believes that election observation missions can be an effective tool for ASEAN to support democratic consolidation in its Member States, since these missions give an additional degree of legitimacy to the electoral process;

23.  Calls on the VP/HR to closely engage with like-minded partners, such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, India, Australia, Canada and, in particular, the members of ASEAN, and work closely with them in streamlining positions and initiatives in order to work towards the restoration of a civilian government in Myanmar as soon as possible;

24.  Calls for international humanitarian observers, including the EU Special Representative for Human Rights, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, and the Special Procedures of the HRC, to be granted immediate and unhampered access to the entire territory of Myanmar; welcomes the close cooperation between the EU and the UN and other international organisations on Myanmar;

25.  Welcomes the statement by the UN Security Council calling for the immediate release of all those detained; calls on the UN Security Council to adopt, at the earliest possible occasion, a resolution denouncing the Tatmadaw coup and imposing clear, binding and enforceable consequences should the Tatmadaw continue to violate democratic processes;

26.  Calls on the EU and its Member States to promote the adoption of a resolution on Myanmar at the next session of the UN HRC;

27.  Further calls on China and Russia to actively engage in international diplomacy and live up to their responsibility as permanent Members of the UN Security Council, and expects them to play a constructive role when scrutinising the situation in Myanmar;

28.  Applauds United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres for his strong words on the actions of the Myanmar military, and welcomes the ASEAN Chair’s statement on ‘The Developments in The Republic of The Union of Myanmar’, which underlined the importance of ‘adherence to the principles of democracy, the rule of law and good governance, respect for and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms’;

29.  Recalls the multi-ethnic nature of Myanmar and urges the Tatmadaw to fully respect each ethnicity’s inalienable rights, and underlines that the European Union will continue to closely monitor the actions of the military leadership regarding its minorities, in particular the Rohingyas, who have already suffered enormous cruelty in the past; expresses, in this regard, its gratitude and respect to the Government and people of Bangladesh who have welcomed and continue to host roughly one million Rohingya refugees from Myanmar; underlines firmly that Myanmar ultimately bears the responsibility for these refugees and must ensure their safe, humane and orderly repatriation and reintegration in Myanmar; calls for full and unimpeded humanitarian access to Myanmar;

30.  Reiterates its strong condemnation of all past and present human rights violations and the systematic and widespread attacks, including killings, harassment, rape and the destruction of property, which, according to the records of the UNIFFM and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR), amount to genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, perpetrated by the armed forces against the Rohingya population; stresses that the Tatmadaw has constantly failed to respect international human rights law and international humanitarian law;

31.  Welcomes the reintroduction and extension of the 2018 sanctions by the EU’s Foreign Affairs Council against military personnel and officials from the Tatmadaw, border guard and police responsible for serious human rights violations against the Rohingya population, and expects those individuals to be the subject of constant review under the sanctions regime;

32.  Reiterates its support for the decision of the ICC Chief Prosecutor to open a preliminary investigation into crimes committed against the Rohingya population and for any suitable initiative contributing to holding those responsible for atrocities, including General Min Aung Hlaing and General Soe Wen, to account;

33.  Urges the Council to amend the mandate of the current scheme of restrictive measures to include breaches of democracy, and to extend targeted sanctions to the entire leadership of Myanmar’s military, including all those involved in the coup and other legal entities directly owned by those involved in the coup;

34.  Strongly welcomes the leadership shown by the EU in establishing the UN Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar (IIMM) in order to collect, consolidate, preserve and analyse evidence of the most serious international crimes and violations committed in Myanmar since 2011; urges Myanmar to cooperate with international efforts to ensure accountability, including by finally granting the IIMM full access to the country; calls for the EU, its Member States and the international community to ensure that the IIMM has the requisite support, including financial support, to execute its mandate;

35.  Calls on the VP/HR and the Member States to closely follow the situation in Myanmar, and calls on the VP/HR to report back to Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs on a regular basis in order to ensure adequate parliamentary dialogue on this important and worrying situation;

36.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the legitimate President and government of Myanmar, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Commission, the EU Special Representative for Human Rights, the governments and parliaments of EU Member States, the governments and parliaments of the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, India, Australia, Canada and the Member States of ASEAN, the Secretary-General of ASEAN, the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the UN Human Rights Council, the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (Burmese Assembly of the Union of Myanmar), the President, the State Counsellor and the military of Myanmar.

(1) OJ C 419, 16.12.2015, p. 189.
(2) OJ C 258 E, 7.9.2013, p. 79.
(3) OJ C 161 E, 31.5.2011, p. 154.
(4) OJ C 99 E, 3.4.2012, p. 120.
(5) OJ C 101, 16.3.2018, p. 134.
(6) OJ C 238, 6.7.2018, p. 112.
(7) OJ C 337, 20.9.2018, p. 109.
(8) OJ C 28, 27.1.2020, p. 80.
(9) OJ C 433, 23.12.2019, p. 124.
(10) Texts adopted, P9_TA(2019)0018.

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