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U.S. Statement on the Situation of Human Rights in Myanmar
June 14, 2013

General statement on the Presidential  Statement entitled,
“Situation of Human Rights in Myanmar as Regards to Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine State and other Muslims”
as delivered by Ambassador Eileen Donahoe.

Human Rights Council – 23rd Session

June 14, 2013

Thank you, Mr. President.

Myanmar is an ethnically and religiously diverse country, and fostering tolerance and mutual respect between peoples of different backgrounds remains one of Myanmar’s most significant challenges.  The United States remains concerned about violence against members of ethnic and religious minorities in Myanmar. We are pleased to support the PRST today as part of our efforts to foster dialogue, promote human rights, and support durable solutions grounded in international human rights norms and standards.

We recognize that individuals from diverse religious and ethnic minorities, including the Rohingya in Rakhine State, have been affected by violence and discrimination.  We implore all parties to cease attacks and to work with the government and each other to resolve the root causes of conflict. We continue to urge the government to promote a pluralistic and tolerant society, and to protect the human rights–including religious freedom and the right to a nationality–of every individual.

We note that the PRST calls upon the Government of Myanmar, in conjunction with the international community, and in accordance with international law, to ensure the return of all refugees and IDPs displaced from their homes.  The United States calls upon all relevant actors to ensure that refugees and IDPs are able to return voluntarily and in safety and dignity, consistent with recognized international humanitarian principles.  We urge relevant actors to work diligently to create conditions conducive to safe and voluntary returns, and to uphold the principle of nonrefoulement.

The United States will continue to work with the Government of Myanmar and the international community to achieve our goal of a peaceful, prosperous, and democratic Myanmar that protects the human rights of all of its diverse people.