UNSC to discuss situation in Myanmar after military coup

United Nations: The UN Security Council on Tuesday will discuss the situation in Myanmar, where the military staged a coup after detaining top political figures, including de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, and look at a "range of measures" with an idea of respecting the people's will expressed in the November general election.

Myanmar's military on Monday staged a coup and detained Suu Kyi and other top members of her governing party. The announcement on military-controlled Myawaddy TV came after an earlier declaration that because national stability was in jeopardy, all government functions would be transferred to military chief Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing.

It was also announced that the military had taken control of the country for one year.

The United Kingdom, President of the Security Council for the month of February, will hold closed-door discussion on Myanmar when the Council is also expected to hear from Secretary-General's Special Envoy on Myanmar Christine Schraner Burgener. "We want to address the long term threat to peace and security of course working closely with Myanmar's Asian and ASEAN neighbors, Barbara Woodward, Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the United Nations and President of the Security Council for the month, told reporters during a virtual press briefing.

She said the topic of Myanmar was originally scheduled to be discussed in the Council later this week, but was moved up to Tuesday given the developments in the country over the weekend, underscoring the urgent need to discuss the situation following the coup.

The Council last discussed Myanmar in September 2020, before the November elections.

When asked if the Security Council will discuss the issue of sanctions, Woodward said the power organ of the UN will want to have as constructive a discussion as possible on Myanmar and look at a range of measures with the idea of respecting the people's will expressed in the vote and releasing civil society leaders.

"Those will be our overriding aims and we will want to consider measures that will move us towards that end, she said. The Council meeting is expected to be a closed-door discussion in order to allow for a "frank discussion", she said.

"At the moment, we don't have specific ideas on the measures. We are, first of all, trying to establish what is happening and then discuss in our national capacity so to bring together a sense of what the UN Security Council can most effectively do in terms of the measures it might take as opposed to what individual countries might do bilaterally. The aim remains to see a restoration of democracy and the release of prisoners in the first instance and an end to the coup and the military rule, she said. The UK remains deeply concerned by the humanitarian plight of the Rohingya refugees in Cox's Bazar as well as in Bhasan Char, the island where Bangladesh has been moving some of the refugees to, Woodward said.

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