HRC 36 Canada’s Statement: Interactive Dialogue – Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar

36th Session of the Human Rights Council Interactive Dialogue – Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar

September 18, 2017

Mr. President,

Canada strongly endorses the Council’s continued attention to the human rights situation in Myanmar and thanks the Fact-Finding Mission for its oral update.

Following the violence in Rakhine State in October 2016 and reports of serious violations by security forces against Rohingya Muslims, the Human Rights Council acted in order to establish the facts and circumstances of allegations. Regrettably, the Government of Myanmar has yet to cooperate fully with the Fact-Finding Mission by granting it full and unhindered access.

Today, the situation in Rakhine has deteriorated drastically, and based on some reports, may amount to ethnic cleansing. The need for the Fact-Finding Mission to do its work is ever more critical as hundreds of thousands of civilians have been forced to flee into neighbouring Bangladesh.

Canada wants Myanmar’s democratically-elected government to succeed and to build an inclusive, diverse and stable society. To do so, the violence in Rakhine State must end now. We strongly urge Myanmar’s civilian and military authorities to work together to protect all civilians and ensure unimpeded humanitarian access to all. All communities in Rakhine State must be ensured safety and protection, including the Rohingya, the largest stateless group of people in the world. Lasting peace and stability will only be achievable if Myanmar ensures equal human rights protection for all its peoples – without distinction.

Myanmar’s endorsement of the final report of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State is a positive step, and Canada looks forward to its roadmap for implementing the Commission’s recommendations, as soon as possible.