The UN General Assembly has called for a halt to the supply of weapons to Myanmar. Most countries voted for a resolution of this significance.
For months, Myanmar has been a place of chaos and violence. On February 1, the military overthrew the government led by Aung San Suu Kyi. Since then, security forces have been suppressing protesters who demanded the restoration of democracy.
The General Assembly passed a resolution condemning the military coup in Southeast Asian countries. All member states are required to prevent the flow of weapons into Myanmar. The country’s military government was also required to restore democracy and release political prisoners including Aung San Suu Kyi.
Belarus voted against
The resolution was supported by 119 of the 193 UN member states. Only Belarus voted against it. Other countries, including China and Russia, abstained.
Although the resolution is non-binding, the UN Special Envoy for Myanmar, Christine Schraner Bulgner, emphasized the importance of signaling after the vote. She said that there is a real risk of a large-scale civil war in the country. “The chance of reversing the military coup is getting smaller and smaller.”
The representative of Myanmar also voted in favour of the resolution. He still represents the government that has been deposed. He expressed disappointment that it took months to condemn the coup.
United Nations Security Council
Therefore, unlike UN Security Council resolutions, General Assembly resolutions are not binding. So far, it has failed to reach agreement on a strong condemnation of the coup d’état or calls for an arms embargo.
One stumbling block in this regard is that certain members of the UN Security Council have the right to veto. Countries such as China and Russia oppose the tough practices of the Burmese military leadership.