Statement by representative of the Russian Federation Mr.Stanislav Suprunenko at UNSC Arria-formula meeting on the humanitarian situation in Myanmar
Our country shares a long history of friendship and cooperation with the Republic of the Union of Myanmar.
Humanitarian situation there is truly concern-raising. To better understand how the existing contradictions can be resolved, we need to turn to look back in time. Prerequisites for this crisis emerged long before the current government came to power, despite the assurances that some members of the Council have been making in this meeting.
The root cause of today’s situation was a complex combination of inter-ethnical and inter-confessional contradictions that started back in the colonial era. It was Great Britain who planted this delayed-action mines in the relations of the regional states, including the people of Myanmar. The former colonial power continues to cling to its influence, longing for the colonial past. Hence their special interest in whatever is happening in Myanmar. It does not matter for London what political or economic order the country would have. The only thing that matters is that this order must serve British interests. This is why they are trying so hard to keep Myanmar on the agenda of the Security Council. This meeting is a clear confirmation of that. This is one of the reasons for the large-scale sanctions campaign against Naypyidaw that we are seeing and that already harmed thousands of ordinary people. We underscore that the situation in Myanmar poses no threat to international peace and security.
Speaking of humanitarian assistance, there is no alternative to direct interaction with Naypyidaw. If parallel channels for distributing humanitarian aid are created, it may only undermine the global humanitarian efforts. In this context, we note Naypyidaw’s responsible approach, i.a. in cooperation with the UN and ASEAN’s AHA Center. A telling example of this is action that was taken to mitigate Cyclone Mocha. Thanks to a set of preventive measures, a significant number of casualties was avoided. The Myanmar authorities evacuated 63300 people before the storm hit. According to official data, as of May 18 the number of victims of the cyclone was 146 people.
We note the efforts of Naypyidaw in implementing the ASEAN Five-Point Consensus. We welcome the willingness of Indonesian Presidency of ASEAN to take a measured approach to helping Myanmar parties normalize their relations. We are convinced that ASEAN will retain its leading role on Myanmar. We believe it would be useful to assist in addressing the humanitarian situation in Myanmar under the umbrella of the Association.
UN Special Envoy Noeleen Heyzer's proposal to organize an international conference on aid to Myanmar can be considered only if Naypyidaw will be given an opportunity to participate.
Efforts to repatriate Rohingya refugees continue through bilateral arrangements with Bangladesh. We assume that the problem should be dealt with bilaterally.