EU Council conclusions on Burma/Myanmar

3082nd FOREIGN AFFAIRS Coun­cil meet­ing
Lux­em­bourg, 12 April 2011
The Coun­cil adopt­ed the fol­low­ing con­clu­sions:
“1. The Coun­cil recalls the unwa­ver­ing sup­port of the EU for the peo­ple of Burma/Myanmar. The EU recog­nis­es the con­sid­er­able devel­op­ment needs of the coun­try and stress­es the ongo­ing increase in the fund­ing of assis­tance to improve their social and eco­nom­ic con­di­tion.

2. The Coun­cil also recalls the High Representative’s state­ment on the elec­tions in Burma/Myanmar, regret­ting that they were not free, fair or inclu­sive, and that many aspects of those elec­tions were not com­pat­i­ble with inter­na­tion­al­ly accept­ed stan­dards. The Gov­ern­ment, which has just tak­en up office, and the new insti­tu­tion­al struc­tures could cre­ate the poten­tial for peace­ful change and greater plu­ral­ism. The Gov­ern­ment should now assume respon­si­bil­i­ty for a peace­ful tran­si­tion to democ­ra­cy and respect for human rights and fun­da­men­tal free­doms. In this regard, the EU reit­er­ates its call for the uncon­di­tion­al release of all those detained for their polit­i­cal con­vic­tions. The EU will pay par­tic­u­lar atten­tion to poli­cies adopt­ed by the new Gov­ern­ment, for deliv­er­ing basic social ser­vices to the peo­ple, devel­op­ing the econ­o­my and reduc­ing pover­ty. The Coun­cil calls for the launch­ing of an inclu­sive dia­logue with the polit­i­cal oppo­si­tion inside the nation­al Par­lia­ment and the region­al Assem­blies, and with stake­hold­ers out­side, includ­ing Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and NLD, as well as with var­i­ous eth­nic groups.

3. In cur­rent cir­cum­stances, the EU deems it nec­es­sary to renew the restric­tive mea­sures for a peri­od of twelve months. In doing so, how­ev­er, the EU reit­er­ates its will­ing­ness to encour­age and respond to improve­ments in gov­er­nance and progress, in the hope that a greater civil­ian char­ac­ter of the Gov­ern­ment will help in devel­op­ing much need­ed new poli­cies. The appli­ca­tion of the visa ban and asset freeze will be sus­pend­ed for cer­tain civil­ian mem­bers of the Gov­ern­ment, includ­ing the For­eign Min­is­ter as an essen­tial inter­locu­tor, for a peri­od of one year, sub­ject to con­tin­ued review. The ban on high lev­el vis­its to the coun­try will also be lift­ed, antic­i­pat­ing access to senior lev­els of the Gov­ern­ment, and to key oppo­si­tion fig­ures. The EU will assess the new Gov­ern­ment by its deeds, and will review the set of restric­tive mea­sures accordingly. 

4. In decid­ing on this approach, the EU has lis­tened care­ful­ly to a broad range of stake­hold­ers, includ­ing civ­il soci­ety, oppo­si­tion groups, ASEAN mem­bers and region­al and inter­na­tion­al part­ners. The Euro­pean Union reit­er­ates its readi­ness to devel­op a high-lev­el dia­logue with the new insti­tu­tions and with oppo­si­tion fig­ures across the spec­trum, includ­ing Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. The EU also stands ready to fur­ther strength­en its dia­logue with ASEAN and oth­er region­al neigh­bours of Burma/Myanmar. In this con­text, the Coun­cil stressed the need to mobilise the high-lev­el mis­sion as soon as pos­si­ble and expressed its strong sup­port for the con­tin­u­ing work of EU Spe­cial Envoy, Mr. Piero Fassi­no, invit­ing the new author­i­ties to coop­er­ate with him. The EU con­tin­ues to look at oppor­tu­ni­ties to rein­force its insti­tu­tion­al pres­ence in the coun­try giv­en the devel­op­ment needs in Burma/Myanmar.

5. The EU wel­comes the adop­tion of res­o­lu­tion A/HRC/16/L.11 of the UN Human Rights Coun­cil, includ­ing its call for an end to impuni­ty for vio­la­tions of human rights with appro­pri­ate atten­tion from the Unit­ed Nations and urges the author­i­ties of Burma/Myanmar to com­ply with it, in full coop­er­a­tion with the Spe­cial Rap­por­teur on the sit­u­a­tion of Human Rights in Myanmar.” 

Coun­cil of the Euro­pean Union 

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