Madam President,

Switzerland would like to thank the United Kingdom for organizing this informal meeting. We also thank the speakers for their contributions. They highlight the catastrophic situation on the ground and the courage of those who are committed to restoring democracy in Myanmar. We also welcome the contribution of the CRPH in this regard, in particular the “interim Federal Democracy Charter”, which was elaborated in collaboration with key stakeholders and which provides the basis for an inclusive democracy.

We call on the international community to strengthen its commitment to the resolution of this crisis along the following three areas:

Firstly, Switzerland urges the military authorities to restore the democratically elected civilian government and calls for the unconditional release of all those arbitrarily detained. Switzerland is extremely concerned about the violent repression by the military authorities. We are deeply disturbed about the disproportionate use of force, including lethal force, against the population, in particular against peaceful demonstrators and children. We also condemn the violations of the right to freedom of opinion and expression. We would like to recall here the Human Rights Council resolution adopted by consensus in March as well as the joint statement issued in early April by nearly 80 Member States on the situation of journalists in Myanmar. Violations of international law must end immediately and accountability must be ensured. These violations must be investigated in a credible, transparent, independent and impartial manner. The primary responsibility in this regard lies with Myanmar. Switzerland urges Myanmar to cooperate with the Independent Investigation Mechanism for Myanmar. In addition, Switzerland calls on the Security Council to refer the situation to the International Criminal Court.

Secondly, it is essential to work towards a political solution to the crisis. Switzerland, which has been actively involved in the democratic transition in Myanmar, calls on the various parties to seek dialogue and reconciliation, and remains ready to support them in these efforts with its expertise. We also support any efforts made by ASEAN to facilitate a negotiated solution to the crisis and a return to democracy in Myanmar. The mandate of the UN Special Envoy is also particularly important in this context. Switzerland calls on the military authorities to allow a visit to the country without further delay, on the understanding that the Special Envoy will be given the opportunity to meet with the military leadership, the detained civilian government leaders and representatives of the democratic movement in order to engage in dialogue.

Thirdly, and as a complement, it is crucial that the UN remains engaged on this crisis with the highest priority. Switzerland supports the call by various UN mechanisms for the Security Council to take concrete action against the escalating violence in Myanmar. It calls on the Council to continue to actively monitor the situation as part of its formal programme of work. Switzerland also believes that the General Assembly has a complementary role to play within the framework of its competencies in urgent situations like this one.

It is high time for the Security Council to take the measures at its disposal to end the crisis. We cannot be forgiven for inaction in the face of the escalating violence, the gravity of the social and humanitarian consequences, and the warnings of an even greater conflagration issued by the Special Envoy in her briefings to the Security Council and to the General Assembly.

I thank you.