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Follow Up General Assembly’s Call to Halt Weapons Transfers

In mid-June, the United Nations General Assembly urged member countries to halt arms transfers to Myanmar. It’s now up to the UN Security Council to formally impose a global arms embargo on the military junta that took power in a February 1 coup to…
Myanmar police block a road near the US embassy in Yangon, Myanmar, February 22, 2021.
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Resolution Should Be Adopted, Urging States to Halt Arms Transfers

By Widad Franco The United Nations Security Council, entrusted by the UN Charter to be the world’s guardian of international peace and security, has done little to help the people of Myanmar besides issuing statements asking the junta to end the…
Demonstrators pose banner military coup
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Iran, Pakistan, Egypt, China, Myanmar Win Women’s Rights Posts

When the United Nations General Assembly held its annual election for seats on the Human Rights Council last October, five countries in the Asia regional group vied for four open seats, including two of the world’s most notorious rights abusers, Saudi…
U.N. headquarters Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Jeenah Moon)
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Security Council Should Impose Arms Embargo, Blacklist Military

For years, members of the United Nations Security Council have offered multiple excuses for not even trying to impose targeted sanctions on the Myanmar military. The top excuse was always: “China will veto it.” Maybe that was true, but it’s time to call…
File photo showing a meeting of the United Nations Security Council.
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20 Years On, UN Should Compensate Victims

Today, the United Nations human rights expert on hazardous waste called out the UN for consistently failing the victims of widespread lead poisoning in refugee camps it ran in Kosovo. The UN leadership should listen and take long-overdue action in…
Roma children play in the Cesmin Lug refugee camp in Mitrovica city, northern Kosovo. Cesmin Lug is one of several camps that the UN established in what was known to be a heavily contaminated area near a defunct lead mine. December 12, 2007.
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Prime Minister’s Racist Comments Reflect Inhumane Asylum Seeker Policy

Thai Prime Minister Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha’s racist slurs directed at the Rohingya are bad enough. But they are made even worse because they reflect the Thai government’s cruel policy toward Rohingya asylum seekers who take perilous journeys to…
Rohingya refugees sit behind bars at a police station in Satun province, Thailand, June 12, 2019.
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UN Security Council Should Ensure Justice for All Victims of Myanmar Violence

On June 26, the International Criminal Court (ICC) announced that Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda will request that the court’s judges open an investigation into crimes relating to two waves of violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine State. Myanmar is…
Smoke is seen rising from Burma’s Taung Pyo Let War village from across the border in Bangladesh.
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Evidence-Gathering into Grave International Crimes will Proceed

United Nations member countries thwarted an attempt by China to slash proposed funding for investigations into Myanmar’s ethnic cleansing campaign against Rohingya Muslims. This ensures that a newly established UN body will have the…
Smoke is seen rising from Burma’s Taung Pyo Let War village from across the border in Bangladesh.
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Chairwoman Declares ‘No Finger Pointing’ for Atrocities Against Rohingya

  It’s now clear that Myanmar’s new “independent commission of inquiry” into human rights violations committed in Rakhine State will not be a serious and impartial investigation that will identify alleged perpetrators to be brought to justice…
A Rohingya woman walks through Kutupalong refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, March 22, 2018.
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Security Council Referral to ICC Only Real Hope for Justice

On Thursday, Myanmar’s government announced it was launching an “independent commission of inquiry” to “investigate the violation of human rights and related issues following the terrorist attacks” by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA). The…
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UN Security Council Should Act to Protect Population at Risk

When I last visited the Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh at the end of last year, a new sort of everyday life was taking shape. No longer were countless desperate people milling about by the road, on paddy fields, and in public buildings.…
Rohingya refugees try to take shelter from torrential rain as they are held by the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) after illegally crossing the border, in Teknaf, Bangladesh, August 31, 2017.
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Secretary-General Report Details Sexual Violence as Weapon of War

The United Nations secretary-general for the first time has included Myanmar’s military, or Tatmadaw, in his annual list of parties that have committed sexual violence in armed conflict. Presented today to the UN Security Council, the…
Rohingya refugees walk across a bamboo bridge in the Kutupalong camp in Bangladesh, February 11, 2018.
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Security Council Should Refer Situation in Myanmar to the Court

On Monday, International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Fatou Bensouda asked the court’s judges to rule on whether the ICC “can exercise jurisdiction over the alleged deportation of the Rohingya people from Myanmar to Bangladesh.”…
Rohingya refugees walk inside Kutupalong refugee camp near Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh January 8, 2018.
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Broadening Attempts to Conceal Atrocities

The Burmese government plans to permanently bar entry to Yanghee Lee, the United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in Burma. With this decision, Burma joins a handful of pariah governments – notably Eritrea, Syria, Burundi, and…
Yanghee Lee, UN special rapporteur on human rights in Burma, speaks at a news conference in Rangoon, July 1, 2016.
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New Resolution Opportunity for Council to Address Crisis

Two months into one of the most vicious ethnic cleansing campaigns in recent history, the United Nations Security Council is still missing in action. For all its pledges to protect civilians, engage in preventive diplomacy, and never…
Rohingya refugees walk after crossing the Naf River at the Bangladesh-Myanmar border in Palong Khali, near Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh November 1, 2017.
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Customary International Law Prohibits Returning Rohingya to Burma

India’s home minister, Rajnath Singh, said in a tweet that his government is “not violating any international law” if it deports Rohingya refugees “as we are not a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention.” Hold on. If India had not signed the…
A group of Rohingya refugees cross a canal after travelling over the Bangladesh-Burma border in Teknaf, Bangladesh, September 1, 2017.
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Deadly Experiences in Bosnia and Sri Lanka Should Serve as Warning

When Bangladesh’s prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, spoke at the United Nations General Assembly this week, she focused on the humanitarian challenges of hosting 400,000 Rohingya Muslims from northern Rakhine State in Burma. They have arrived destitute,…
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Roma Afflicted with Lead Poisoning in UN-Run Camps

The United Nations may be undermining its own efforts to promote human rights, at a time when rights are under threat worldwide. That’s the view of a UN panel of experts, which investigated complaints of human rights violations by…
Roma children play in the Cesmin Lug Camp outside Trepca mine, on the outskirts of Mitrovica, June 22, 2009.
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Body Ignores Own Advice to Give Clear Apology for Tragedy that was UN’s Fault

It looked like justice for Kosovo’s lead-poisoning victims was finally within reach. Former United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson convened a meeting in December 2016, just as he and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon were preparing to hand the…
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It was just a bolt of pink cotton lying on the floor of a school gym but more than 20 years later, it haunts me still – soldiers tore off strips of that cloth, blindfolded dozens of men, trucked them to a nearby field, shot them, and buried all but a…
Two Bosnian Muslim women cry over a coffin July 10, 2005 with remains of their relative in a factory hall in Potocari where 610 victims of Srebrenica massacre wait for the funeral.