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FCO Minister Hugo Swire notes UN resolution and expresses concerns about human rights in Burma
The UN General Assembly 3rd Committee yesterday adopted a resolution on human rights in Burma. Welcoming the resolution, Foreign & Commonwealth Office Minister, Hugo Swire, said:
The resolution on the human rights situation in Burma has again been agreed by consensus at the UN General Assembly. This is a significant achievement which reflects the work done by the British Government, the European Union and co-sponsoring countries to engage positively with the Burmese government. It recognises progress including the continued release of political prisoners, increased freedom of speech and national ethnic reconciliation.
The Burmese government must dedicate its energies to further democratic reform. As the resolution highlights, key to this will be amendment of the constitution ‘in order to ensure the elections to be held in 2015 are genuinely credible, inclusive and transparent’. As our Prime Minister has said, the Burmese people must be able to freely choose their country’s leadership.
The resolution further emphasises our human rights concerns. The root causes of inter-communal violence in Rakhine State and other parts of Burma must be addressed. Those responsible for violence must be held accountable and the citizenship and human rights of the Rohingya community respected. I am also concerned about new reports of civilian casualties and displacement of large numbers of people in Kachin. We urge an immediate end to the fighting, and unfettered humanitarian support to those affected.
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