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India abstains from vote on UNGA’s Myanmar resolution

India has been calling for greater engagement with the objective of peacefully resolving all issues
By Yashwant Raj, Washington
PUBLISHED ON JUN 20, 2021 12:48 AM IST
India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador T S Tirumurti said “This resolution was tabled... without adequate consultations with neighbours and regional countries." (ANI Photo)

India on Friday abstained from voting on United Nations General Assembly resolution, rebuking Myanmar for the five-month-old military takeover, saying it doesn’t believe the resolution, tabled hastily, is conducive to “aiding our joint efforts towards strengthening democratic process” in the country.

The draft resolution ‘The situation in Myanmar’ was adopted on Friday with 119 member states, including Myanmar, voting in favour, while 36 nations, including Myanmar’s neighbours — India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Laos, Nepal and Thailand abstained and so did Russia. Belarus was the only country voting against it.

“This resolution was tabled... without adequate consultations with neighbours and regional countries. This is not only unhelpful but may also prove counter-productive to the efforts of the ASEAN to find a solution to the current situation in Myanmar,” India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador T S Tirumurti told PTI.

The resolution expressed “grave concern” at the February 1 coup and called upon Myanmar’s military junta to immediately and unconditionally release President Win Myint, State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and other government officials, politicians and those arbitrarily detained or arrested. It also called “upon all member states to prevent the flow of arms into Myanmar”.

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In the explanation of the vote in the General Assembly, Tirumurti said as Myanmar’s immediate neighbour and close friend of its people, India is cognizant of the “serious impact of political instability” and the potential of its spillover beyond Myanmar’s borders. India has been calling for greater engagement with the objective of peacefully resolving all issues. “We already have such an ongoing initiative under the aegis of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations). It is important that we extend support to the ASEAN efforts,” he said, adding, “We had engaged in a spirit of finding a constructive and pragmatic way forward and had accordingly shared our suggestions to those who piloted this resolution.”

“However, we find that our views have not been reflected in the draft being considered for adoption today. We would like to reiterate that a consultative and constructive approach involving the neighbouring countries and the region, remains important as the international community strives for the peaceful resolution of the issue,” Tirumurti said.

China, another neighbour of Myanmar, was among those who abstained, as did ASEAN members Brunei, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand. The rest of the member nations voted for the resolution.

With agency inputs

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