Statement by Ambassador Michèle Taylor
on the Secretary’s Determination
of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity in Myanmar
March 21, 2022
Today, Secretary Blinken announced that the United States has determined that violence committed against Rohingya minority by the military amounts to genocide and crimes against humanity.
We do not use these words lightly. This determination follows a rigorous legal and factual analysis that has shown that the military has perpetrated a widespread and systematic attack on a civilian population. Furthermore, these attacks were perpetrated with the specific intent to destroy Rohingya.
I have seen the effects of these horrific crimes firsthand, throughout the world and in my own family of Holocaust survivors. Time and time again, the world has said ‘never again,’ and yet genocide and crimes against humanity continue to be committed, affecting new groups of people, families, communities, and cultures for generations.
In my short time as U.S. Permanent Representative to the UN Human Rights Council, I have heard harrowing firsthand accounts of horrific killings, murders of children and pregnant women, torture, and brutal sexual violence from civil society and others affected by the violence against Rohingya. We have not forgotten, we will not forget, and we cannot and will not stand by.
The United States stands with these victims and against all who perpetrate such acts. Let this be a message that these crimes cannot and will not be tolerated. Those who have committed genocide and crimes against humanity against Rohingya are many of the same people who have committed atrocities against other ethnic and religious minorities across Myanmar for decades, and are many of the same people responsible for the 2021 military coup and ongoing violence against the people of Myanmar. They must be held to account or these types of horrific atrocities will continue. I will continue to use my position to call attention to these horrible crimes, stop the violence, and fight for justice.