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We, the undersigned organizations, call on the United Nations Security Council to urgently impose a comprehensive global arms embargo on Myanmar to help prevent further violations of human rights against peaceful protesters and others opposing military rule. In recent weeks, Myanmar security forces have killed hundreds of people, including dozens of children, merely for exercising their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.  

Since the February 1, 2021 coup, Myanmar’s military junta has responded with increasing brutality to nationwide protests calling for the restoration of democratic civilian rule. As of May 4, security forces have killed at least 769 people, including 51 children as young as 6, and arbitrarily detained several thousand activists, journalists, civil servants, and politicians. Hundreds have been forcibly disappeared, the authorities unwilling to provide information on their well-being or where they are being held. Over the past few months, the military has demonstrated a callous disregard for human life that has driven its strategy for decades. In video footage from cities and towns across the country, soldiers can be seen shooting down protesters, including children, brutally beating medical aid workers, and firing shotguns into crowds of peacefully protesting doctors.  

In addition to the latest violations of human rights, Myanmar’s security forces have a history of grave abuses against peaceful critics of the government and military, and war crimes and other international crimes against the Rohingya and other ethnic minority groups. Of particular note is the military's widely documented use of sexual and gender-based violence as a weapon against ethnic communities. 

No government should sell a single bullet to the junta under these circumstances. Imposing a global arms embargo on Myanmar is the minimum necessary step the Security Council should take in response to the military’s escalating violence. Arms and materiel provided to Myanmar’s security forces are likely to be used by the security forces to commit abuses in violation of international human rights and humanitarian law.  

For this reason, the undersigned organizations urge the United Kingdom, the Security Council’s “penholder” on Myanmar, and other Security Council member states to begin negotiations on a resolution authorizing an arms embargo as soon as possible. This will demonstrate to the junta that there will be no more business as usual.  

Security Council members have increasingly spoken with one voice on Myanmar. The Council has called for the immediate release of Aung San Suu Kyi and others arbitrarily detained, including civilian leaders. It has condemned the military’s crackdown on peaceful protesters and called for an end to the ongoing violence. But unity is not an end in itself. The Council should now build on that unity and negotiate a resolution that would include an arms embargo and other substantive measures.   

A comprehensive UN arms embargo on Myanmar should bar the direct and indirect supply, sale, or transfer of all weapons, munitions, and other military-related equipment, including dual-use goods such as vehicles and communications and surveillance equipment, as well as the provision of training, intelligence, and other military assistance. Such an embargo should be accompanied by robust monitoring and enforcement mechanisms.  

We note with disappointment the failure of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ (ASEAN) April 24, 2021 summit to take more robust action to protect Myanmar’s people. Less than a day after the summit’s conclusions were published, the military’s violence continued, which only highlights the need for UN member countries and the Security Council to take decisive action to pressure the junta to reverse course. 

The time for statements has passed. The Security Council should take its consensus on Myanmar to a new level and agree on immediate and substantive action. An arms embargo would be the centerpiece of a global effort to protect the people of Myanmar from further atrocities and help bring an end to impunity for crimes under international law. 

Myanmar’s people cannot afford to wait any longer for the Security Council to take action. 




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Act Church of Sweden

Action Committee for Democracy Development

Action on Armed Violence (AOAV)

Africa Centre for Security, Governance and Research

African Council of Religious Leaders-Religions for Peace

Alliance for Democracy in Laos


Amnesty International

Arakan Institute for Peace and Development (AiPAD)

Arakan Rohingya National Organization

ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights

Asia Democracy Network

Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)

Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP)

Association for Public Policy – APP (Argentina)

Association INFO BIRMANIE (Info Burma)


Baptist Union of Denmark

Burma Campaign UK

Burma Human Rights Network

Burma Task Force

Burmese Rohingya Organization UK

Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies

Calgary Karen Community (CKCA)

California Shan Society

Cameroon Youths and Students Forum for Peace

Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT)

Canadian Burmese Rohingya Organization

Canadian Rohingya Development Initiative

Center for Justice and Accountability

Center for Peace Education – Miriam College

Center for Victims of Torture

Centre Delas for Peace Studies

Centro de Estudios Ecuménicos, A.C. – México

Chin Human Rights Organization

Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW)


Civil Rights Defenders

Committee of 100 in Finland

Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI)

Community Empowerment for Progress Organization

Control Arms


Dallas Ft. Worth Karen Community

Dallas Karen Baptist Church, TX

Danish United Nations Association


DEEKU, the Karenni Community, USA

EarthRights International

Edmonton Karen Community Youth Organization

Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights

FOMICRES, Mozambique

Fortify Rights

Forum on Disarmament and Development (FDD)

FundiPau (Fundacio per la Pau)

Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect

Global Justice Center

Global Movement for Myanmar Democracy (GM4MD)

Global Network of Women Peacebuilders

Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict

Global Witness

Good Neighbors

Hawai’i Institute for Human Rights

HelpAge International

Human Rights Foundation of Monland (Thailand)

Human Rights Information and Training Center

Human Rights Watch

Institute for Asian Democracy

Institute for Justice and Reconciliation

Institute for Statelessness and Inclusion

International Campaign for the Rohingya

International Center for Not-for-Profit Law

International Commission of Jurists

International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)

International Human Rights Clinic, Harvard Law School

International Karen Organization, Australia

International Service for Human Rights

International State Crime Initiative

International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs

Ipas (Myanmar)

Jewish Rohingya Justice Network

Kachin Community UK

Kachin National Organization USA

Kachin Women Action Thailand

Kachin Women’s Association of Thailand (KWAT)

Kansas Karenni Community, KS

Karen Youth Education Pathways USA

Karen American Association of Wisconsin

Karen Association of Huron, SD

Karen Community of Akron, OH

Karen Community of Canada (KCC)

Karen Community of Czech Republic

Karen Community of Finland

Karen Community of Hamilton

Karen Community of Iowa, IA

Karen Community of Ireland

Karen Community of Israel

Karen Community of Kansas City, KS & MO

Karen Community of Kitchener & Waterloo

Karen Community of Leamington

Karen Community of Lethbridge

Karen Community of London

Karen Community of Minnesota, MN

Karen Community of North Carolina

Karen Community of Ottawa

Karen Community of Regina

Karen Community of Rochester

Karen Community of Rock Island, IL

Karen Community of Saskatoon

Karen Community of Syracuse, NY

Karen Community of Thunderbay

Karen Community of Toronto

Karen Community of Windsor

Karen Community of Winnipeg

Karen Community Society of British Columbia

Karen Organization of America

Karen Thai Group

Karen Youth Networks

Karen Youth of Norway

Karen Youth of Toronto

Karen Youth Organization, Thailand

Karenni American Association, USA

Karenni Community of Bowling Green, KY

Karenni Community of Des Moines, IA

Karenni Community of Georgia, GA

Karenni Community of Indianapolis, IN

Karenni Community of Massachusetts, MA

Karenni Community of Minnesota, MN

Karenni Community of Missouri, MO

Karenni Community of New York, NY

Karenni Community of North Carolina, NC

Karenni Community of Portland, OR

Karenni Community of Texas

Karenni Community of Wisconsin, WI

Karenni National Women’s Organization

Karenni Society of Minnesota North East

Karenni-American Catholic Association

Kenya Section of the International Commission of Jurists

Khmers Kampuchea-Kron Federation (KKF)


Korea Karen Organization

Korea Karen Youth Organization

Latin American and Caribbean Human Security Network (SEHLAC)

L’chaim! Jews Against The Death Penalty

Liberia Action Network on Small Arms


Mechanism of Search for Peace and Development Initiative

Mennonite Central Committee United Nations Office

Mensen met een Missie

Myanmar Trust UK

Nadia’s Initiative

Nepal Peacebuilding Initiative

Never Again Coalition

No Business With Genocide

Nonviolence International

Oversea Karen Organization Japan

Pa-O Youth Organization (PYO)

Parliamentarians for Global Action


Pax Christi International

Pax Christi Philippines

PEN Myanmar

People’s Federation for National Peace and Development

People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy (PSPD)

Progressive Voice

Reconstructing Judaism

Refugees International

Relief Action Network for IDP and Refugee (RANIR)

RFK Human Rights

Rights for Peace

Rohingya American Society

Rohingya Intellectuals Community Association, Australia

Rohingya Organization Norway

Rohingya Women Welfare Association

Rohingya Youth Association

Saferworld Europe

South East Asia Movement for Human Rights & Justice

Southern African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes

Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa

Sustainable Peace and Development Organization

Swedish Burma Committee

Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society

The Arakan Project, Myanmar

The Kachin Relief Fund

The Shalom Center

The Zambian Network for Human Rights Defenders


Unitarian Universalist Association

United Nations Association – UK

United Nations Association of Sweden

US Campaign for Burma

Vision GRAM-International

Waging Peace

West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP)

Women for Peace and Democracy Nepal

Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom

Women’s International Peace Centre

Women’s Peace Network

Women’s Refugee Commission

World Council of Churches

World Federalist Movement/Institute for Global Peace

Wunpawng Ninghtoi (WPN)

Yanshuf Coalition, Israel


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