23rd Session, November 6, 2015
As delivered by Jessica Carl
The United States welcomes the Myanmar delegation.
The November 8 election is an opportunity for Myanmar to take a significant step toward democracy. Since 2011, human rights conditions have improved. However, we remain troubled by forced labor, intercommunal tensions, government actions that have rendered members of the Rohingya population stateless, and laws that restrict the exercise of freedoms of religion, peaceful assembly, and expression. Over 100 political prisoners remain detained, and the government has not upheld its commitment to allow the UN OHCHR to open a country office.
We recommend Myanmar:
- End discrimination against members of the Rohingya population and members of other minority groups, including by providing a pathway to or restoring citizenship for stateless persons without requiring them to accept ethnic designations they do not agree with, removing restrictions on freedom of movement, and revising discriminatory legislation, including the 1982 Citizenship Act and the four “race and religion” laws.
- Release all political prisoners unconditionally, and remove conditions on those already released.
- Consider ratifying the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
- Allow the OHCHR to open a country office with a full mandate.
We welcome the signing of the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement, but we remain concerned by continued violence and encourage the government to constructively engage all relevant stakeholders to pursue a more inclusive peace.