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Volume 450: debated on Wednesday 25 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the Government’s policy is on protecting human rights in Burma. (96676)

Burma is identified as a country of concern in our 2006 Annual Report on Human Rights. The Government’s policy is to promote full respect for human rights in Burma encouraging the rule of law, democracy and good governance, and the freedom of association and speech in accordance with international human rights law.

We have been at the forefront of international efforts over many years to bring pressure to bear on the military regime to re-establish democracy and to respect human rights. We take every opportunity to raise human rights issues with the regime and remind them of their obligations to adhere to international human rights law. Our embassy in Rangoon also delivers capacity-building assistance in support of these objectives.

The UK works closely with the EU and other international partners, including the UN and the Association of South East Asian Nations, to promote human rights in Burma, and fully supports the efforts of the UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Burma, Professor Sergio Pinheiro.

We fully support all action in the UN, including in the Security Council, which helps to promote reform and positive change in Burma and have supported the US proposal for a UN Security Council Resolution.