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Burma: Human Rights

Volume 461: debated on Monday 18 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps the Government have taken to promote the passage of a resolution on Burma at the UN Human Rights Council in September. (142609)

We have repeatedly raised our concerns about the serious human rights situation in Burma. We co-sponsored a UN Security Council Resolution on Burma in January. However the resolution was not adopted, as two permanent members of the Security Council—China and Russia—voted against, as did South Africa.

We agree that the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) should address the situation in Burma. On 13 March I raised the serious human rights situation in Burma in my address to the HRC in Geneva. The EU raised Burma at the HRC on 23 March, expressing concern about the situation and calling for the release of all political prisoners and an end to the systematic human rights abuses in Burma. The EU also took part in discussions with the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Burma at the March session of the HRC.

We will continue to discuss with our EU partners about how to take the most effective action on Burma at the HRC.