Interactive Dialogue with Nicholas Koumjian, Head of the Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar (IIMM)
As Delivered by Ambassador Michèle Taylor
Human Rights Council – 54th Session
Thank you, Mr. President.
Thank you for your report, Mr. Koumjian.
On behalf of the United States I want to reiterate our gratitude for the necessary and difficult work of the IIMM. We are alarmed by your report of “a dramatic increase in war crimes and crimes against humanity in the country, with widespread and systematic attacks against civilians.” Such acts are utterly unacceptable and must be stopped.
The Myanmar authorities’ refusal to cooperate with your investigations remains a shameful impediment to justice. All member states, including Myanmar and its neighbors, must cooperate with and allow access to the IIMM to carry out its mandated activities.
We applaud the members of civil society who work tirelessly to defend the human rights of the people of Myanmar, despite the risks they face to their freedom, well-being, and even their lives. We also thank the brave witnesses who provided evidence to the IIMM, in some cases reliving horrific traumas while living in fear of reprisal or deportation.
The Myanmar military’s continued atrocities and its abuses and violations underscore the need for and importance of the IIMM in promoting accountability and justice and deterring further atrocities.
What actions can the international community take to provide stronger protections for witnesses, particularly those without legal immigration status?
I thank you.