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Burma: Human Rights

Volume 497: debated on Thursday 22 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of recent proposals for a UN Commission of Inquiry into human rights violations in Burma; and if he will make a statement. (294674)

We are aware of several calls for the establishment of a commission of inquiry to investigate human rights in Burma. While there are a number of ways by which such a commission could be established, all would require a level of international consensus on Burma that is not presently achievable.

In the past two years, our efforts have helped to secure unprecedented UN Security Council action on Burma, in the form of two strongly worded Presidential Statements. We are also active in pursuing strong resolutions in both the Human Rights Council and at the General Assembly. We fully support the efforts of UN Special Rapporteur, Tomas Quintana. His work on human rights abuses in Burma is crucial to holding the regime to account and we have urged the Burmese authorities to grant him the necessary access.