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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