CSW Urges UN Secretary General to Prioritize Human Rights in Burma
18 November 2008
Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) is calling on UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to press ahead with his planned visit to Burma next month, in light of the recent prison sentences passed on to pro-democracy activists and the continued military offensive by the Burma Army against civilians in Karen State. ()
CSWs Chief Executive, Mervyn Thomas, said: n light of the desperate deterioration in human rights in Burma, it is essential that the Secretary-General does not take the lack of progress as a reason to cancel his visit. On the contrary, the visits of UN envoys over many years have been shown to have failed and now it is time for the Secretary-General himself, with the full weight of his office, to visit Burma and seek to facilitate change."
CSW is calling on the UN Security Council to set out some "specific benchmarks for progress" which the regime must meet according to set deadlines. These include the immediate release of political prisoners, followed by an end to the military offensives against civilians in eastern Burma.
"The regimes crimes against humanity have gone unchallenged for too long," said Thomas. "We believe the international community should seriously consider invoking the principle of the Responsibility to Protect with regard to Burma.r