The UN General Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution late
Monday welcoming positive changes in Myanmar but expressing
serious concern at an upsurge of sectarian violence between
Muslims and Buddhists in strife-torn Rakhine state.
The resolution adopted by the 193-member world body urges
government action to improve the situation of the Rohingya Muslim
minority “and to protect all their human rights, including their
right to a nationality.”
There is widespread resentment of
the Rohingya community, whom many in Myanmar regard as illegal
immigrants from Bangladesh out to steal their land.
The worst communal violence in a
generation in June, and again in late October, between Rakhine
Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims killed about 200 people and left at
least 110,000 displaced, the vast majority of them Muslims.
The resolution noted substantial
efforts by Myanmar’s government toward political reform,
democratization, national reconciliation and improvements in human
rights. But it expressed concern about continuing violations of
human rights and fundamental freedoms.
It called on the government to
continue the process of releasing political prisoners, to identify
those who remain imprisoned, and to take the measures needed to
The General Assembly urged the government “to accelerate its
efforts to address discrimination, human rights violations,
violence, displacement and economic deprivation affecting various
ethnic minorities,” singling out the Rohingyas and Kachin.
UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos
said earlier this month that for nearly six months, the UN has not
been able to provide assistance to almost 40,000 people in Kachin
because it is not permitted to go to areas controlled by the
The European Union-sponsored
resolution was adopted by consensus, with the assembly president
banging his gavel.