22 June 2020

Explanation of Vote (EOV) before the vote on the draft resolution on

L.23 Situation of human rights in Myanmar

Thank you, Madam President.

Our common desire of seeing long-lasting improvements in the situation of human rights in Myanmar must manifest in concrete efforts to assist the Myanmar government, the primary duty bearer, in effecting durable democratic reforms within its own legitimate political processes.

Cooperation is a two-way process where there is a shared expectation for the mandate to extend constructive assistance to the country concerned toward improving human rights conditions on the ground. A mandate that does not enjoy the support of the country concerned is counterproductive.

We remain seriously concerned about the proliferation of efforts to externalize responsibility and accountability in Myanmar through various international mechanisms and mandates. We are alarmed at the cost of maintaining these mandates, which amounts to a staggering USD 35 million from the period 2018 to 2020, all of which are spent on staff and consultant salaries and their travel expenses---- none on concrete programs on the ground. The wisdom of this approach is all the more tenuous, in the midst of budget restrictions in the UN system which is under pressure to deliver critical interventions in many developing states where the pursuit of the 2030 SDG goals that are fundamental to the enjoyment of human rights by millions of people have been considerably set back by the pandemic and resulting economic crises.

We reiterate our call for the Council to redirect its actions towards the pursuit of constructive and comprehensive cooperation with Myanmar, including encouraging and supporting the work of domestic accountability processes, in line with the principles of international law, and to assist government efforts in this regard.

While recognizing the need to see fruitful and meaningful progress on the overall human rights situation in the communities in Myanmar, the Philippines does not support this resolution and will be voting against L.23.

Thank you, Madam President. END.