(MYANMAR, January 28, 2022)—On January 28, the U.N. Security Council met to discuss the crisis in Myanmar following disagreement by member states about whether to meet after the cancellation of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers Retreat, which was scheduled to take place in Cambodia on January 18 and 19. Several ASEAN members reportedly pulled out of attending the in-person retreat after Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen met the Myanmar junta and extended an invitation for the junta to attend the retreat despite the junta’s lack of legitimacy as a government representative. Following cancellation of the ASEAN meeting, the U.N. Security Council considered canceling its meeting on Myanmar. 

The U.N. Security Council ultimately met following advocacy by Fortify Rights and others urging the Council to proceed. As part of this advocacy, Fortify Rights organized high-profile political actors from ASEAN to privately contact the U.N. Security Council to encourage the Council to meet. One letter sent to the Norwegian Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the U.N. in New York and President of the U.N. Security Council read: 

Disunity within ASEAN should not delay action on the part of other international bodies – pressure must continue to be applied to the junta to end its reign of terror, and momentum to resolve this crisis must not be lost . . . The situation in Myanmar demands urgent attention.

Fortify Rights also joined 285 other organizations on a joint statement published on January 24, 2022, calling for the U.N. Security Council to hold an open briefing on the situation in Myanmar. The statement stressed: “the need, at an absolute minimum, to convene an open meeting of the UN Security Council to address the deteriorating humanitarian situation and urgent civilian protection concerns in Myanmar as a matter of extreme urgency.” Fortify Rights further raised this issue through meetings with members of the U.N. Security Council and senior ASEAN political leaders.

In a press release issued following the U.N. Security Council meeting, the members of the Security Council reaffirmed their “support for the people of Myanmar and the country’s democratic transition and their strong commitment to the sovereignty, political independence, territorial integrity and unity of Myanmar”.

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