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UN Rapporteur Urges G7 to Act Before it is Too Late for Burma

The UN rapporteur for human rights in Burma, Tom Andrews, has called on G7 leaders to address the conflict in the country at their summit in Hiroshima from May 19-21. Andrews has urged the G7 to commit to an action plan for Burma before it is too late. Speaking at a press conference in the Tokyo correspondents’ club, Andrews warned that the international community is failing the people of Burma and that the situation is getting worse.

Since the coup d’état on February 1, 2021, more than 3,400 people have died at the hands of Burma’s armed forces. Andrews stressed that the recent escalation of violence by the military is causing a “horrible human rights situation that only worsens” and called for a “profound reassessment” of the international community’s response to the crisis.

Andrews also called on nations to recognize and engage with the National Unity Government (NUG), which claims to be the legitimate authority of Burma after the coup. The NUG was formed in part by former members of the ousted legislature and is fighting for recognition inside and outside the country. Its armed wing, the People’s Defense Forces (PDF), battles the Burmese army.

Japan is one of the main investors in Burma and Andrews urged the country to “consider joining the other G7 countries in imposing sanctions against the generals and their sources of income, as it does with Ukraine.” At the April 18 meeting of foreign ministers in Karuizawa, the G7 urged the immediate cessation of all violence, the release of political prisoners and the return of Burma to a genuinely democratic path.

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The situation in Burma is dire and requires immediate action from the international community. Andrews’ call to the G7 is an important step towards addressing the crisis and ensuring that the people of Burma receive the support they need.

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