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Interactive Dialogue on Written Update of High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk on Myanmar
Statement Delivered by Ambassador Michèle Taylor
July 6, 2023

Statement by Ambassador Michèle Taylor

Permanent Representative to the UN Human Rights Council

Human Rights Council – 53rd Session

Thank you, Mr. Vice President.

Thank you, High Commissioner Türk, for your continued attention to the situation in Myanmar. We cannot lose focus on the plight of Rohingya, other minorities, and the democratic aspirations of the people of Myanmar.

The Myanmar military’s actions since the coup continue to worsen the human rights conditions and humanitarian crisis facing the Myanmar people. The regime is buying weapons instead of feeding its citizens.

Credible reports show that the military continues to block and delay the delivery of critically needed humanitarian assistance, including for communities devastated by Cyclone Mocha.

The regime must immediately allow for the unrestricted delivery of humanitarian aid and unimpeded work of humanitarian organizations and other aid groups assisting communities in need.

Rohingya continue to face human rights abuses in Myanmar. There has been no accountability for the atrocities the military has committed against the Rohingya. As a result, the refugee camp in Cox’s Bazaar is the world’s largest. We thank the Government of Bangladesh for their compassion.

But resources are scarce and the World Food Programme cannot keep up. Families must choose: stay and starve, attempt the treacherous escape with human smugglers, or return to Myanmar.

For that to happen, the conditions in Myanmar must allow for the safe, voluntary, dignified, and sustainable return and reintegration of displaced Rohingya before any repatriations are initiated. There is no reason to believe these conditions have been met; in fact, all evidence suggests quite the opposite to be true.

Mr. High Commissioner, what actions can we take to pursue justice for survivors and victims of human rights abuses in Myanmar?

I thank you.