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UN Security activity on Burma 2005-2008


15 December- The first debate on Burma was held at the UN Security Council. UN Source

20 September- Vaclav Havel and Desmond Tutu commissioned a Report finding that Burma fits the criteria for United Nations Security Council (UNSC) intervention. It calls on UNSC members to pass a resolution requiring the regime to work with the UN in restoring democracy to Burma, and to release Aung San Suu Kyi and all prisoners of conscience.


30 November- Human Rights Watch announces that the Burma junta attacks on the insurgent minorities have forced the displacement of thousands of civilians.

29 September- UN Security Council holds its first formal discussion on Burma.

15 September- UN Security Council puts Burma on Agenda. The action receives much praise from the US along with much opposition from China.

31 May- the UN Security Council held its second briefing on Burma after a visit to Burma by UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Ibrahim Gambari, in late May 2006 when he met regime head Than Shwe and Aung San Suu Kyi.

March- The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, the leading international body monitoring conflict-induced IDPs, stated that Burmas military junta has launched an offensive against separatist guerillas. The government forces attacked villages and displaced thousands while trying to quell the 50 year insurgency by the Karen ethnic rebels. More Info


11 October- The UN Security Council issues a presidential statement condemning the violence against the demonstrators in Burma along with a call for the early release of all political prisoners.

5 October- The UN SC holds a formal meeting to discuss the situation in Burma and is again briefed by Ibrahim Gambari upon his return from Burma

29 September- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon sends his Special Envoy on Myanmar, Ibrahim Gambari, to Burma, in hopes of diffusing the crisis, with his admission into the country largely due to pressure exerted by China on the junta.

24 September- Approximately 100,000 people protest in Rangoon (the largest anti-government protest since 1988) following a hike in petrol, diesel and gas of 15 August. By 26 September, the junta begins a violent crackdown including raids, arrests, and a few deaths. See Dec 2007 Human Rights Watch Report

12 February- A report by human rights group Karen Women's Organization accuses the Burma military of killing, raping, and torturing ethnic Karen women as part of the armys violent campaign against the Karen. Report by Human Rights Group

12 January- The UN Security Council fails to adopt a draft resolution calling for the Burma government to cease continuing its violent campaigns against civilians due to two negative votes by China and the Russian Federation.More info and implications for R2P


28 July- Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Sir John Holmes returns from his trip to Burma to discuss the present situation due to Cyclone Nargis. Holmes says the accessibility problem has been solved except for some inaccessible areas in the south). Holmes press conference

May-June The junta endures severe international criticism after it refused accessibility to outside aid agencies to assist the people most affected by the storm. As time went on, the junta slightly opens its aid barriers compared to its original aid policy.More info

16 May- As of 16 May, figures show that up to 78,000 people have been killed and almost 56,000 remain missing.

7 May- French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner invokes R2P in relation to the aftermath of cyclone Nargis, saying that "We are seeing at the United Nations if we can't implement the responsibility to protect, given that food, boats and relief teams are there, and obtain a United Nations' resolution which authorizes the delivery and imposes this on the Burmese government". His comment sparked an intense debate on the applicability of R2P in such circumstances. (click here for R2P-CS analysis of the debates)

2 May- Cyclone Nargis hits Burma and devastates the Irrawaddy delta region. According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, n estimated 2.4 million people were affected. 1.3 million people are estimated to have been reached so far by International NGOs, the Red Cross and the UN.

Sources and more information:

Timelines of History- Burma:

The Guardian: Timeline of Burma

Security Council Report on Humanitarian Situation in Myanmar since Cyclone Nargis:

BBC Coverage of August 2007 Burma Protests:

R2P-CS debate on R2P and Burma:
21 May:
9 May:

responsibility to protect: Engaging Civil Society- Crisis in Burma page

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