US Pushes for Human Rights Resolution on Burma in UN Security Council

The United States has asked the United Nations Security Council to pass a resolution criticizing the ruling Burmese military junta for its continued violations of human rights, including the house arrest of pro-democracy leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. According to BBC, this is the first time that the Council has addressed the junta’s human rights abuses.

The proposed resolution follows the visit of UN Undersecretary General Ibrahim Gambari last month. According to Reuters, his visit is the first by a high-ranking UN official in the last two years, and he met briefly with Suu Kyi during his visit. However, Reuters reports that the resolution is unlikely to pass without the support of China and Russia, who do not believe the situation falls under the Council’s purview. Both countries have the power to veto any resolution put before the Council.

Suu Kyi endured house arrest from 1989 to 1995 after she emerged as a leader of the opposition movement. The military regime refused to honor the results of the 1990 election, during which Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy garnered an overwhelming majority of the popular vote. She was rearrested in May 2003, and the military junta recently extended her house arrest until May 2007, reports the Washington Post.


BBC 6/1/06; Feminist Daily News Wire 12/3/04; Reuters 5/31/06; Washington Post 6/1/06

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