Resolution on Burma

GENEVA COUNCIL - Making global markets work for all, 23-24 November 1998

The Council of the Socialist International meeting in Geneva on 23-24 November 1998:

Recognises the Committee representing the People's Parliament, formed by the National League for Democracy on 16 September 1998 acquiring the legal authority of 251 MPs and support of the four non-Burmese ethnic political parties, as the legitimate instrument of the will of the People of Burma;

Strongly condemns the regime for the recent illegal and arbitrary arrests of more than one thousand members of the National League for Democracy including about 200 elected representatives;

Condemns the regime's policy of racially-motivated genocide against the ethnic peoples, especially those in Karen, Karenni and Shan States;

Deplores the regime's persecution of Christians and Muslims as well as the continuing repression of Buddhist monks;

Welcomes the finding by UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Burma that human rights abuses in Burma were likely "the result of policy at the highest level" and that therefore, the regime's officials bear "political and legal responsibility" for their crimes; (1)

Urges the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) and UNCHR to adopt consensus resolutions on Burma that accurately reflect the severity of the repression in Burma and adequately reflect the international outrage at the regime's policies;

Calls on the United Nations General Assembly and organisations to authorise member states to take individual actions to pressure the regime to abide by its UN treaty obligations;

Appeals to the UN Secretary General to bring more pressure to bear on the military junta by using his good offices, in consultation with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, to make significant advances towards the democratisation of Burma;

Calls on the international community, and Japan in particular, not to provide any form of financial assistance that directly or indirectly benefits the regime in Burma;

Calls on the European Union to impose tough trade and investment sanctions on the regime until there is genuine progress in restoring democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights in Burma;

Calls on TOTAL of France, UNOCAL of the United States, PREMIER of the United Kingdom, and MITSUBISHI and NIPPON OIL of Japan to withdraw or suspend their pipeline operations in Burma and to make amends for the forced labor and human rights abuses caused by their projects against the ethnic peoples of Burma;

Strongly urges the military regime in Burma to immediately initiate a substantive dialogue with the Committee Representing the People's Parliament before it is too late to prevent another violent social and political upheaval in Burma, and

Urges the regime to release all political prisoners, to repeal all repressive laws, and to stop all the violations of human rights and all unlawful harassment on NLD members leading to surrendering of their membership and closing down of NLD offices.



1 Report of the Special Rapporteur on Myanmar, United Nations General Assembly, doc A/53/364, 10 September 1998.