Follow-up on the Council’s conclusions on Myanmar

Question

In light of the widespread, systematic and grave human rights violations committed by Myanmar/Burma military and security forces in Rakhine State, the Council adopted Decision 2018/655 establishing a legal framework for targeted sanctions against certain persons from the Myanmar Armed Forces and the border guard police.

The Council conclusions invited Myanmar/Burma to seek accountability for the alleged crimes against humanity, mentioning a self-referral to the International Criminal Court pursuant to Article 12(3) of the Rome Statute. Sadly, the fourth Myanmar-EU Human Rights Dialogue’s joint press release does not mention the EU raising these points.

The Myanmar Government’s attempts to bury the evidence, as documented by Amnesty International, show the need for an impartial, independent mechanism (IIM) to support investigations into the alleged atrocity crimes, focused on collecting and preserving evidence for inclusion in a master database for international criminal proceedings.

1. What is the timeline for the implementation of the restrictive measures, specifically establishing the list of targeted individuals?

2. Has the VP/HR been encouraging third countries, notably Australia, to follow suit, as mentioned in the article 11 of the decision?

3. What steps is the EU/-VP/HR taking to press Myanmar/Burma to seek accountability and to support the establishment of the IIM?

Wajid Khan (S&D) , Barbara Lochbihler (Verts/ALE) , Fabio Massimo Castaldo (EFDD) , Alessia Maria Mosca (S&D) , Javier Nart (ALDE) , Bart Staes (Verts/ALE) , Merja Kyllönen (GUE/NGL) , Izaskun Bilbao Barandica (ALDE) , Ivo Vajgl (ALDE) , Csaba Sógor (PPE) , Theresa Griffin (S&D) , Urmas Paet (ALDE) , Marie-Christine Vergiat (GUE/NGL) , Robert Rochefort (ALDE) , Baroness Nosheena Mobarik (ECR) , Karoline Graswander-Hainz (S&D) , Bronis Ropė (Verts/ALE) , David Martin (S&D) , Richard Corbett (S&D) , Marietje Schaake (ALDE) , Ana Gomes (S&D) , Clare Moody (S&D) , Soraya Post (S&D) , Bodil Valero (Verts/ALE) , Pavel Telička (ALDE) , Margrete Auken (Verts/ALE) , Jude Kirton-Darling (S&D) , Julie Ward (S&D) , Hilde Vautmans (ALDE) , Ismail Ertug (S&D) , Molly Scott Cato (Verts/ALE) , Pascal Durand (Verts/ALE) , Nessa Childers (S&D) , Sirpa Pietikäinen (PPE) , Liliana Rodrigues (S&D) , José Inácio Faria (PPE) , John Howarth (S&D)

Answer

1. Council Decision of 26 April 2018[1] established a general legal framework allowing for targeted restrictive measures against natural persons from the Myanmar Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) and the Border Guard Police on the basis of to criteria laid down in this decision. The EU, in close cooperation with EU Member States, continues to monitor and assess the situation with respect to these criteria and possible designations.

Designations leading to a travel ban and freeze of funds against natural persons concerned are adopted by the Council with unanimity and need to be accompanied by an accurate, up-to-date and defendable statement of reasons and include the necessary identifying information. A proposal for designations under the Myanmar/Burma framework is on the agenda of Coreper on 13 June 2018.

2. The EU will encourage Australia and other likeminded countries, but also other relevant international stakeholders, to align to the EU policy regarding military cooperation with Myanmar and possible targeted restrictive measures.

3. The EU and its Member States continue addressing the issue of accountability in the dialogue with Myanmar and within relevant UN fora and mechanism, in particular the Human Rights Council (HRC) In this context, we are also looking forward to the forthcoming final report of the HRC’s Fact-Finding mission and other UN reports are expected to contain proposals for a possible impartial independent mechanism.

Myanmar announced on 31 May 2018 the envisaged establishment of an Independent Commission on Inquiry which may comprise one international personality but the mandate and concrete nature of this body is not known yet. The EU will follow this matter very closely.


[1] Council Decision (CFSP) 2018/655 of 26 April 2018 amending Decision 2013/184/CFSP concerning restrictive measures against Myanmar/Burma, OJ L 108/29 of 27.04.2018 as well as a related Council Regulation.

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