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11 April 1997
Original: ENGLISH
Fifty-third session
Agenda item 10
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Cyprus, Czech
Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece,
Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein,
Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal,
Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom
of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and United States of
America: draft resolution
          1997/....Situation of human rights in Myanmar
The Commission on Human Rights,
     Reaffirming, that Member States have an obligation to
promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms as
stated in the Charter of the United Nations and as elaborated
in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the
International Covenants on human rights and other applicable
human rights instruments,
     Mindful that Myanmar is a party to the Convention on the
Rights of the Child and the Geneva Conventions on the
protection of victims of war,
     Recalling previous resolutions of the General Assembly
and the Commission on Human Rights on the subject, most
recently General Assembly resolution 51/117 of 12 December
1996 and Commission on Human Rights resolution 1996/80 of 23
April 1996,
     1.   Welcomes 
     (a)  The report by the Special Rapporteur
     (b)  The report of the Secretary-General on his
discussions with the Government of Myanmar (E/CN.4/1997/129);
     (c)  The continuing cooperation by the Government of
Myanmar with the Office of the United Nations High
Commissioner for Refugees for the voluntary repatriation and
reintegration of returnees from Bangladesh;
     (d)  The scheduled visit of a special envoy of the
Secretary-General to Myanmar from 7 to 10 May 1997, in the
discharge of the good offices functions of the
Secretary-General, for discussions with the Government and
political leaders of Myanmar as he may consider appropriate,
in order to assist in the implementation of General Assembly
resolution 51/117 and of the present resolution;
     2. Expresses its deep concern
     (a) At the continuing violations of human rights in
Myanmar, as reported by the Special Rapporteur, including
extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, death in
custody, torture, arbitrary and politically-motivated arrest
and detention, absence of due process of law, including trial
of detainees in secrecy without proper legal representation,
severe restrictions on freedoms of opinion, expression,
movement, assembly and association, forced relocation, forced
labour by children as well as adults, including portering for
the military, abuse of women and children by government agents
and oppression of ethnic and religious minorities;
     (b) At the absence of significant steps towards the
establishment of democratic government after the democratic
elections of 1990, while noting that according to the Special
Rapporteur, the absence of respect for the rights pertaining
to democratic governance is at the root of all the major
violations of human rights in Myanmar;
     (c) That the Government of Myanmar has not yet agreed to
a visit by the Special Rapporteur;
     (d) That most of the representatives democratically
elected in 1990 have been excluded from participating in the
meetings of the National Convention, that severe restrictions
have been imposed on delegates, including members of the
National League for Democracy, who have withdrawn and
subsequently were excluded, at the end of 1995, from the
sessions of the Convention and who were unable to meet or
distribute their literature, and that one of the objectives of
the Convention is to maintain the participation of the armed
forces (Tatmadaw) in a leading role in the future political
life of the State, and concludes that the National Convention
does not appear to constitute the necessary steps towards the
restoration of democracy;
     (e) At the restrictions placed upon Daw Aung San Suu Kyi
and other political leaders, at harassment, detention and
forced resignations of elected representatives, at the recent
attack against Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and other members of the
National League for Democracy and other supporters of
democratic groups in Myanmar, including persons peacefully
exercising their right to freedom of expression during the
recent student demonstrations;
     (f) At the forced relocation and other violations of the
rights of persons belonging to minorities, resulting in a flow
of refugees to neighbouring countries, and at the recent
attacks on members of the Karen ethnic group, resulting in
death, destruction and displacement;
     (g) At violations of the rights of children in
contravention of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, in
particular by the lack of conformity of the existing legal
framework with this Convention, by systematic recruitment of
children into forced labour, and by discrimination against
children belonging to ethnic and religious minority groups;
     3. Calls upon the Government of Myanmar
     (a) To guarantee an end to violations of the right to
life and integrity of the human being, to ensure full respect
for human rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedom
of thought, opinion, expression, association and assembly, the
right to a fair trial by an independent and impartial
judiciary and the protection of the rights of persons
belonging to ethnic and religious minorities, and to urgently
improve conditions of detention;
     (b) To take urgent and meaningful measures to ensure the
establishment of democracy in accordance with the will of the
people as expressed in the democratic elections held in 1990
and, to this end, to engage at the earliest possible date in a
substantive political dialogue with the leaders of political
parties returned at the elections of 1990, including Daw Aung
San Suu Kyi, and with leaders of ethnic groups, as the best
means of promoting national reconciliation and restoration of
democracy, and to ensure that political parties and
non-governmental organizations can function freely;
     (c) To cooperate fully with the relevant mechanisms of
the Commission, in particular the Special Rapporteur, and to
ensure his access to Myanmar, without preconditions, in order
to allow him fully to discharge his mandate, and to cooperate
with the Secretary-General or his representatives, including
through access to any person deemed appropriate by the
Secretary-General or the Special Rapporteur;
     (d) To ensure the safety of all political leaders,
including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, and to release immediately and
unconditionally detained political leaders and all political
prisoners, to ensure their physical integrity and to permit
them to participate in a meaningful process of national
     (e) To consider becoming a party to the International
Covenant of Civil and Political Rights, the Covenant on
Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the Convention
against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading
Treatment or Punishment, as well as to other human rights
     (f) And all other parties to the hostilities in Myanmar
to respect fully their obligations under international
humanitarian law, including article 3 common to the Geneva
Conventions of 12 August 1949, to halt the use of weapons
against the civilian population, to protect all civilians,
including persons belonging to ethnic or religious minorities,
from violations of humanitarian law, and to avail themselves
of services as may be offered by impartial humanitarian
     (g) To fulfil its obligations as a State party to the
Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29) and to the Freedom of
Association and Protection of the Right to Organize Convention
1948 (No. 47) of the International Labour Organization, and to
cooperate more closely with the International Labour
Organization, in particular with the Commission of Inquiry
appointed in accordance with article 3 of the Constitution of
the International Labour Organization;
     (h) To create the necessary conditions to remove the
causes of displacement and of refugee flows to neighbouring
countries and to create conditions conducive to their
voluntary return and their full reintegration in safety and
dignity, in close cooperation with the Office of the United
Nations High Commissioner for Refugees;
     (i) To fulfil its obligations to end impunity of
perpetrators of human rights violations, including members of
the military, and to investigate and prosecute alleged
violations committed by government agents in all
     (j) To investigate the circumstances which led to the
death in June 1996 of Mr James Leander Nichols while detained
by the Government of Myanmar, and to prosecute any person who
could be held responsible;
     4. Decides
     (a) To extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur, as
contained in Commission resolution 1992/58 of 3 March 1992,
for a further year, and requests the Special Rapporteur to
submit an interim report to the General Assembly at its
fifty-second session on human rights in Myanmar and to report
to the
Commission at its fifty-fourth session, and to keep a gender
perspective in mind when seeking and analysing information;
     (b) To request the Secretary-General to continue to give
all necessary assistance to the Special Rapporteur to enable
him to discharge his mandate fully;
     (c) To request the Secretary-General to continue his
discussions with the Government of Myanmar and anyone he may
consider appropriate in order to assist in the implementation
of General Assembly resolution 51/117 and of the present
     (d) To continue the examination of the situation of human
rights in Myanmar during its fifty-fourth session under the
agenda item entitled "Question of the violation of human
rights and fundamental freedoms in any part of the world"
Adopted by consensus, 16 April 1997