"In recent weeks, Myanmar security forces have killed hundreds of people, including dozens of children, merely for exercising their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly,” reads the statement. “Hundreds have been forcibly disappeared, the authorities unwilling to provide information on their well-being or where they are being held.”
The statement also notes that, over the past few months, the military has demonstrated a callous disregard for human life that has driven its strategy for decades. “In video footage from cities and towns across the country, soldiers can be seen shooting down protesters, including children, brutally beating medical aid workers, and firing shotguns into crowds of peacefully protesting doctors,” the statement reads. “In addition to the latest violations of human rights, Myanmar’s security forces have a history of grave abuses against peaceful critics of the government and military, and war crimes and other international crimes against the Rohingya and other ethnic minority groups.”
No government should sell a single bullet to the junta under these circumstances, the statement urges. “Imposing a global arms embargo on Myanmar is the minimum necessary step the Security Council should take in response to the military’s escalating violence,” the statement continues. “A comprehensive UN arms embargo on Myanmar should bar the direct and indirect supply, sale, or transfer of all weapons, munitions, and other military-related equipment, including dual-use goods such as vehicles and communications and surveillance equipment, as well as the provision of training, intelligence, and other military assistance.”
Such an embargo should be accompanied by robust monitoring and enforcement mechanisms, the statement adds.
“The time for statements has passed,” the message reads. “The Security Council should take its consensus on Myanmar to a new level and agree on immediate and substantive action.”
An arms embargo would be the centerpiece of a global effort to protect the people of Myanmar from further atrocities and help bring an end to impunity for crimes under international law.
“Myanmar’s people cannot afford to wait any longer for the Security Council to take action,” the statement concludes.