Tuesday, 11 May 2021

Questions (118)

Jennifer Carroll MacNeill

Question:

118. Deputy Jennifer Carroll MacNeill asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the contribution of Ireland at the United Nations or otherwise to help address the humanitarian and political situation in Myanmar; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24036/21]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

I have strongly condemned the coup carried out by the Myanmar military, the arbitrary detention of political leaders, and the use of lethal force against peaceful protesters. The coup is a reversal of progress made towards democracy and rule of law in Myanmar that has taken years to establish. It does nothing to tackle the public health, security or economic issues faced by the people of Myanmar.

The UN Security Council, with the support of Ireland, has expressed deep concerns regarding developments in Myanmar, has strongly condemned the use of violence by the military, and called for the release of all those detained. It is welcome that the Security Council has taken a united position on this crisis as this sends a strong message to the Myanmar military. The crisis remains on the agenda of the Security Council and our Mission to the UN continues to follow developments closely.

I am also deeply concerned regarding the humanitarian and human rights impact of the coup. Tens of thousands of people have been newly displaced from renewed violence. Meanwhile, the operating environment is becoming more restrictive for NGOs. I have called for unhindered access for humanitarian workers to all regions.

I have made commitments that Ireland will ensure our continued humanitarian assistance for the most vulnerable communities in Myanmar, including internally displaced persons and Rohingya refugees.

Ireland supports the adoption of targeted sanctions against the perpetrators of the coup and the economic entities that sustain them. In this regard, I endorsed the comprehensive approach set out in EU Council Conclusions adopted by the Foreign Affairs Council on February 22 and the subsequent adoption of sanctions on March 22 and again on April 19.

Ireland, along with our EU colleagues, has been a steadfast supporter of Myanmar’s civilian and democratic transition, its peace process and national reconciliation, and its inclusive socio-economic development. We will maintain these roles during this challenging period.