UN Human Rights Council 44th Session – Item 4: ID with SR on Myanmar – Intervention by ESTONIA – 13 July 2020

Thank you Madam President.

Estonia fully aligns itself with the statement delivered by the European Union.

We remain deeply concerned about the continuous reports of human rights violations in Myanmar,. In the conflict between government forces and the ethnic Rakhine Arakan Army, the real victims are civilians, whose homes, hospitals and schools are being destroyed.

So long as the region remains a war zone, Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh cannot be repatriated, nor will there be improvement in the lives of the 600.000 Rohingya still in the Rakhine State. The COVID-19 pandemic has made existing problems worse and Estonia calls on Myanmar to respect the Secretary General’s call for a ceasefire, which must include conflict in the Rakhine State.

Estonia reiterates that there needs to be accountability for those responsible for violations of international humanitarian and human rights law and justice for the victims. If accountability cannot be guaranteed at the national level, then there needs to be independent international investigation into the crimes. In that regard we welcome the work of the IIMM.

Taking note of the order of the International Court of Justice in January 2020, Myanmar must follow the Court’s recommendations and take all measures within its powers to stop mass atrocity crimes against the Rohingya and ensure the preservation of evidence. Along with partner States, Estonia initiated a joint stakeout on this point at the Security Council in the first half of this year.

Finally, we encourage Myanmar to provide full access to UN to the Rakhine, Kachin and Shan States, to resume the cooperation with the Special Rapporteur and to lift restrictions on access to the region for journalists.

Estonia invites the Government of Myanmar to sign and ratify core international human rights conventions, in particular the ICCPR, and the Convention against Torture.

Thank you!