External Affairs

UN Secretary General Guterres Asked by Half of Security Council to Publicly Brief on Myanmar

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres addresses the 72nd United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, US., September 19, 2017. Credit: Reuters

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres addresses the 72nd UN General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, US., September 19, 2017. Credit: Reuters

UN: Seven members of the UN Security Council, including the US and Britain, on Friday asked UN chief Antonio Guterres to publicly brief the 15-member body next week on the violence in Myanmar that he has described as ethnic cleansing.

Sweden, the US, Britain, France, Egypt, Senegal, and Kazakhstan want Ethiopia, president of the council for September, to arrange the briefing for next week, according to the request seen by Reuters.

More than 422,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladesh from Myanmar since August 25, when attacks by Rohingya militants triggered a military crackdown.

US President Donald Trump wants the UN Security Council to take “strong and swift action” to end the violence, Vice President Mike Pence said on Wednesday.

The council has met twice behind closed doors since the Rohingya crisis began and last week issued an informal statement to the press condemning the situation and urging Myanmar authorities to end the violence.

Diplomats say the Security Council could consider adopting a formal statement if the situation does not improve, but China and Russia are unlikely to agree to stronger action that would require the adoption of a resolution they could veto.

A UN Security Council resolution would need nine votes in favour and no vetoes by Russia, China, the US, Britain and France.

Myanmar said earlier this month it was negotiating with veto powers China and Russia to ensure Myanmar would be protected from any Security Council action.

(Reuters)