The UN Security Council has taken no serious action to address the situation in Myanmar after the coup, Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said on Friday, adding that the body’s five permanent members elite make it impossible to resolve conflicts by often abusing their right of veto.
Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Ismail Sabri also said that the Southeast Asian bloc, ASEAN, must cancel an agreement it had reached with Myanmar to bring back this country to democracy, because the junta did nothing to implement the agreement.
But Malaysia’s prime minister reserved the most scathing criticism in his 22-minute address to the UN Security Council, which he called the world body’s “biggest problem”.
“It is very sad that the Security Council is not taking any serious action in this situation. Some even consider that the Security Council has washed its hands and handed the matter over to ASEAN,” he said.
“The power of veto is often misused to favor the world powers that hold it. It is undemocratic and violates the principles of human rights. This makes it impossible for any of the permanent members of the Council to resolve conflicts.
For a Security Council resolution to pass, none of its permanent members – Russia, Britain, China, France and the United States – can veto it. And China and Russia, analysts say, will prevent any strong action, such as broad and binding sanctions, against Myanmar’s violent junta.
Junta security forces have killed more than 2,300 people since the generals seized power toppling an elected government on February 1, 2021. Just last week, junta forces fired on a village school in Myanmar’s Sagaing region, killing at least seven children, in what appears to be the deadliest incident involving children since last year’s military coup.
Meanwhile, Burma’s junta also deliberately ignored a five-point agreement reached with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in April last year. The agreement was seen as a roadmap to return Myanmar to democracy, but junta leader General Min Aung Hlaing failed to implement a single point of this agreement, known as the five-point consensus, according to analysts.
The Malaysian Prime Minister also said the consensus had gone nowhere.
“Malaysia is disappointed that there is no meaningful progress in implementing the ASEAN ‘Five Point Consensus’, especially by the Myanmar junta. In its current form, the ASEAN ‘five-point consensus’ cannot last any longer,” said Ismail Sabri.
“Therefore, this consensus needs to be reinvigorated and refined based on a clearer framework, timeline and end goal.”
Earlier this week, Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah said Kuala Lumpur planned to pressure the Southeast Asian bloc to decide the fate of its five-point consensus on Myanmar. before the ASEAN summit in November.
“If it doesn’t work, we have to decide what happens next. We can’t leave in November and then start talking about it. We have to prepare the ground now,” he told reporters after meeting with members of the Burmese opposition in New York.
Meanwhile, Ismail Sabri also said that the political situation in Myanmar has worsened the situation for millions of refugees from Myanmar, including stateless Rohingyas, hundreds of thousands of whom fled a brutal military offensive in Rakhine State in 2017 which the United States has since called a genocide.
“Although Malaysia is not a signatory to the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol, Malaysia, for humanitarian reasons, has accepted nearly 200,000 Rohingya refugees,” the Malaysian prime minister said.
“Therefore, it is the responsibility of all countries, including countries participating in the convention, to take in more refugees for resettlement in their respective countries.”
Ismail Sabri said it was important for the world to address the root cause of the Rohingya crisis.
He said, “I believe this issue will not be resolved as long as the crisis in the country continues.”
BenarNews, an information service affiliated with RFA.