Britain, EU urge UN Human Rights Council special session on Myanmar

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GENEVA, Feb 8, 2021 (BSS/AFP) – Britain and the European Union requested
Monday that the United Nations Human Rights Council hold a special session in
response to the ongoing political crisis Myanmar.

The call comes came a week after Myanmar’s generals conducted a coup in
the country.

“The United Kingdom would like to inform all colleagues that together with
the European Union, we have submitted a request for a special session on the
human rights implications of the crisis in Myanmar,” Julian Braithwaite,
Britain’s ambassador in Geneva, told a council organisational meeting.

Myanmar’s military last week detained civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi and
dozens of other members of her National League for Democracy party, ending a
decade of civilian rule and triggering international condemnation.

Braithwaite said the call was “in response to the state of emergency
imposed in Myanmar, the arbitrary detention of democratically elected
politicians and civil society by the military,” which he said had “grave
implications for human rights in the country”.

“We must respond urgently to the plight of the people of Myanmar and the
rapidly deteriorating human rights situation there,” he said.

Braithwaite said the backers of the special session call would inform
other council members soon about the drafting of a resolution on the issue.

He said the motion had the support of an additional 19 of the council’s 47
members.

That means in principle that the request would fulfil the requirement for
the backing of at least a third of the council’s members, paving the way for
a special session prior to the next regular council session, which kicks off
on February 22.