Singapore supports the United Nations Security Council (UNSC)’s adoption of its resolution on the situation in Myanmar on Dec. 21, said Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan.
He shared his thoughts in a Facebook post on Dec. 23.The first resolution on Myanmar in 74 years demands the end of violence in Myanmar, and calls the country’s military rulers to release all political prisoners, including Aung San Suu Kyi.
The military seized power from the democratically government in the country on Feb. 1 this year.
China, India and Russia argued against the resolution while the remaining 12 members, including the United Kingdom, and the United States, voted in favour of its adoption.
However, China and Russia did not exercise their veto power, choosing to abstain instead.
Support for the resolution
The resolution, as Vivian pointed out, "underscores the UNSC’s support for the implementation of Asean’s Five Point Consensus".
The Five-Point Consensus is an agreement reached by Asean member states in resolving the Myanmar crisis which includes:
- There shall be immediate cessation of violence in Myanmar and all parties shall exercise utmost restraint.
- Constructive dialogue among all parties concerned shall commence to seek a peaceful solution in the interests of the people.
- A special envoy of the ASEAN Chair shall facilitate mediation of the dialogue process, with the assistance of the Secretary-General of ASEAN.
- ASEAN shall provide humanitarian assistance through the AHA Centre.
- The special envoy and delegation shall visit Myanmar to meet with all parties concerned.
The resolution reflects the" high level of attention and importance that the UNSC attaches to the issue" said Vivian.
"Singapore remains deeply concerned about the deteriorating situation in Myanmar and will continue to work closely with the UN, ASEAN and other stakeholders to facilitate a peaceful resolution through dialogue among all parties in Myanmar."
Singapore's long-time stand
Since the military seized power in Myanmar earlier this year, Singapore has taken a clear and consistent position on the situation, Vivian said in a written Parliamentary reply in July 2022.
He added that Singapore categorically rejects any use of lethal force against unarmed civilians, describing it as "deplorable and unacceptable".
The country has called on the military to put an end to the violence and bloodshed and for all sides to refrain from escalating tensions, he adds further.
The Singapore government has also called for the release of political detainees so that all stakeholders can negotiate in finding a durable and peaceful political situation.
On June 18, Singapore voted in favour of the UN General Assembly resolution that called for an arms embargo on Myanmar.
UN expert: Action is required
While acknowledging the efforts of the UNSC, Thomas Andrews, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, said the resolution adopted was not enough.
"Demanding that certain actions be taken without any use of the Security Council’s Chapter VII authority, will not stop the illegal Myanmar junta from attacking and destroying the lives of the 54 million people being held hostage in Myanmar", he said in a statement on Dec. 22.
What the demand of the resolution lacks, according to Andrews, are the "consequences for the failure to meet them and the imposition of sanctions and accountability for crimes the military has committed to date”.
Andrews said that the resolution should be a "wake-up call" and nations with the political will to support the people of Myanmar should take coordinated action to end the carnage.
He added that targeted, coordinated action is needed which includes coordinating sanctions, cutting off the revenue that finances the junta’s military assaults, and an embargo on weapons and dual-use technology.
There also needs to be robust humanitarian aid that can reach those most in need.
Top image by UN via Vivian Balakrishnan/FB.