United Nations

A/RES/51/117


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

6 March 1997

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH



Fifty-first session
Agenda item 110 (c)


                  RESOLUTION ADOPTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY

      [on the report of the Third Committee (A/51/619/Add.3 and Corr.1)]


            51/117.     Situation of human rights in Myanmar


      The General Assembly,

      Reaffirming that all Member States have an obligation to promote
and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms as stated in the
Charter of the United Nations and elaborated in the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights, 1/ the International Covenants on Human
Rights 2/ and other applicable human rights instruments,

      Aware that, in accordance with the Charter, the Organization
promotes and encourages respect for human rights and fundamental
freedoms for all and that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
states that the will of the people shall be the basis of the authority
of government,

      Recalling its resolution 50/194 of 22 December 1995,

      Recalling also Commission on Human Rights resolution 1992/58 of
3 March 1992, 3/ in which the Commission, inter alia, decided to
nominate a special rapporteur to establish direct contacts with the
Government and with the people of Myanmar, including political leaders
deprived of their liberty, their families and their lawyers, with a
view to examining the situation of human rights in Myanmar and
following any progress made towards the transfer of power to a
civilian Government and the drafting of a new constitution, the
lifting of restrictions on personal freedoms and the restoration of
human rights in Myanmar,

      Taking note of Commission on Human Rights resolution 1996/80 of
23 April 1996, 4/ in which the Commission decided to extend for one
year the mandate of its Special Rapporteur on the situation of human
rights in Myanmar,

      Noting with concern that the Government of Myanmar has not yet
agreed to visits by a representative of the Secretary-General and by
the Special Rapporteur,

      Gravely concerned that the Government of Myanmar still has not
implemented its commitment to take all necessary steps towards
democracy in the light of the results of the elections held in 1990,

      Recalling the release without conditions of Nobel Peace Prize
Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi on 10 July 1995,

      Gravely concerned at the travel and other restrictions placed on
Aung San Suu Kyi and other political leaders and at the recent mass
arrests of members and supporters of the National League for Democracy
for peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression,
assembly and association, and alarmed by the attack, on
9 November 1996, on Aung San Suu Kyi and other members of the National
League for Democracy,

      Recalling the withdrawal and subsequent exclusion from the
National Convention of members of the National League for Democracy in
late 1995,

      Regretting the failure of the Government of Myanmar to open a
political dialogue with Aung San Suu Kyi and other political leaders,
including representatives of ethnic groups,

      Gravely concerned at the continued violations of human rights in
Myanmar, as reported by the Special Rapporteur, including
extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, killings of civilians,
torture, arbitrary arrest and detention, deaths in custody, absence of
due process of law, severe restrictions on freedoms of opinion,
expression, assembly and association, violations of freedom of
movement, forced relocation, forced labour and portering and the
imposition of oppressive measures directed in particular at ethnic and
religious minorities,

      Recalling the observation made by the Special Rapporteur that the
absence of respect for the rights pertaining to democratic governance
is at the root of all the major violations of human rights in Myanmar,

      Recalling also the conclusion of ceasefire agreements between the
Government of Myanmar and several ethnic groups,

      Noting that the human rights situation in Myanmar has resulted in
flows of refugees to neighbouring countries, thus creating problems
for the countries concerned,

      1.    Expresses its appreciation to the Special Rapporteur of the
Commission on Human Rights on the situation of human rights in Myanmar
for his interim report, 5/ and urges the Government of Myanmar to
cooperate fully with the Special Rapporteur;

      2.    Also expresses its appreciation to the Secretary-General for
his report; 6/

      3.    Deplores the continued violations of human rights in
Myanmar;

      4.    Requests the Government of Myanmar to permit unrestricted
communication with and physical access to Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
Aung San Suu Kyi and other political leaders by members and supporters
of the National League for Democracy and to protect their physical
well-being;

      5.    Strongly urges the Government of Myanmar to release
immediately and unconditionally detained political leaders and all
political prisoners, to ensure their physical integrity and to permit
them to participate in the process of national reconciliation;

      6.    Urges the Government of Myanmar to engage, at the earliest
possible date, in a substantive political dialogue with
Aung San Suu Kyi and other political leaders, including
representatives of ethnic groups, as the best means of promoting
national reconciliation and the full and early restoration of
democracy;

      7.    Welcomes the discussions between the Government of Myanmar
and the Secretary-General, and further encourages the Government of
Myanmar to allow a visit by the representative of the Secretary-
General, as soon as possible, in order to allow for a broader dialogue
in Myanmar;

      8.    Again urges the Government of Myanmar, in conformity with
its assurances given at various times, to take all necessary steps
towards the restoration of democracy in accordance with the will of
the people as expressed in the democratic elections held in 1990 and
to ensure that political parties and non-governmental organizations
can function freely;

      9.    Expresses its concern that most of the representatives duly
elected in 1990 are still excluded from participating in the meetings
of the National Convention, created to prepare basic elements for the
drafting of a new constitution, and that one of the objectives of the
Convention is to maintain the participation of the armed forces in a
leading role in the future political life of the State, and notes also
with concern that the working procedures of the National Convention do
not permit the elected representatives of the people freely to express
their views;

      10.   Strongly urges the Government of Myanmar to take all
appropriate measures to allow all citizens to participate freely in
the political process, in accordance with the principles of the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and to accelerate the process
of transition to democracy, in particular through the transfer of
power to democratically elected representatives;

      11.   Also strongly urges the Government of Myanmar to ensure full
respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedom
of expression and assembly, the right to fair trial and the protection
of the rights of persons belonging to ethnic and religious minorities,
and to put an end to violations of the right to life and integrity of
the human being, to the practices of torture, abuse of women, forced
labour and forced relocations and to enforced disappearances and
summary executions;

      12.   Appeals to the Government of Myanmar to consider becoming a
party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 2/
the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights 2/
and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and
Degrading Treatment or Punishment; 7/

      13.   Strongly urges the Government of Myanmar to fulfil its
obligations as a State party to the Forced Labour Convention, 1930
(No. 29), and to the Freedom of Association and Protection of the
Right to Organize Convention, 1948 (No. 87), of the International
Labour Organization, and encourages the Government of Myanmar to
cooperate more closely with the International Labour Organization;

      14.   Stresses the importance for the Government of Myanmar to
give particular attention to conditions in the country's jails and to
allow the International Committee of the Red Cross to communicate
freely and confidentially with prisoners;

      15.   Calls upon the Government of Myanmar and other parties to
the hostilities in Myanmar to respect fully the obligations under
international humanitarian law, including article 3 common to the
Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, 8/ to halt the use of weapons
against the civilian population, to protect all civilians, including
children, women and persons belonging to ethnic or religious
minorities, from violations of humanitarian law and to avail itself of
such services as may be offered by impartial humanitarian bodies;

      16.   Encourages the Government of Myanmar to create the necessary
conditions to ensure an end to the movements of refugees to
neighbouring countries and to create conditions conducive to their
voluntary return and their full reintegration, in conditions of safety
and dignity;

      17.   Requests the Secretary-General to continue his discussions
with the Government of Myanmar in order to assist in the
implementation of the present resolution and its efforts for national
reconciliation and to report to the General Assembly at its fifty-
second session and to the Commission on Human Rights at its fifty-
third session;

      18.   Decides to continue its consideration of this question at
its fifty-second session.


                                                          82nd plenary meeting
                                                              12 December 1996


                                     Notes

1/    Resolution 217 A (III).

2/    Resolution 2200 A (XXI), annex.

3/    See Official Records of the Economic and Social Council, 1992,
Supplement No. 2 (E/1992/22), chap. II, sect. A.

4/    Ibid., 1996, Supplement No. 3 (E/1996/23), chap. II, sect. A.

5/    See A/51/466.

6/    A/51/660.

7/    Resolution 39/46, annex.

8/    United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, Nos. 970-973.

 

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