Locsin to push for PH abstention from UN Rohingya reso
MANILA, Philippines – After the Philippines voted against a United Nations (UN) draft resolution on the human rights situation concerning the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar, the Philippine envoy to the UN said he would push instead for the country's abstention.
In a reply to a tweet on Saturday, November 18, Philippine Permanent Representative to the UN Teodoro Locsin Jr said he will "push for abstention" when the resolution goes to the plenary of the UN General Assembly.
I was here for ASEAN. MY FOCUS WAS UN SEC GEN GUTERRES. It will be different when it goes to plenary. I will push for abstention. It is the right thing. But a yes is divisive and will kill ASEAN. Sorry but ASEAN does not correct Britain’s mistakes in Burma.— Teddy Locsin Jr. (@teddyboylocsin) November 18, 2017
He also said that the country "should have abstained in deference to the Muslim and non-Muslim member states" of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), "like (what) Singapore did."
The draft resolution of the UN General Assembly Third Committee called on Myanmar to "end the ongoing military operations that have fueled tensions among the communities and have led to the systematic violation and abuse of human rights of persons belonging to the Rohingya community and other ethnic minorities, and to hold perpetrators accountable."
It also asked Myanmar to allow access for humanitarian assistance and for fact-finding bodies, and to grant full citizenship to Rohingya Muslims in the Rakhine State, among others.
The Philippines was among the 10 countries that opposed the draft UN resolution on Thursday, November 16, along with Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, China, Russia, Belarus, Syria, and Zimbabwe.
A total of 135 countries voted in favor of the UN resolution, while 26 countries abstained.
Meanwhile, Malacañang on Saturday explained the country's opposition to the draft resolution, saying that the issue in the Rakhine State "is a complex one."
"We believe that isolation and censure would only add to the difficulty the people there are now facing," said Malacañang in a statement.
Nonetheless, the Palace said they "have expressed concern over the humanitarian situation in the Rakhine State. We are fully aware that it has deep historical roots and we acknowledge Myanmar’s efforts towards resolving the issues faced in the Rakhine State."
"ASEAN leaders have been briefed about these efforts during the recently concluded 31st ASEAN Summit, and ASEAN is committed to assist Myanmar in implementing the Advisory Commission’s recommendations," it continued. – Rappler.com