India

UN assembly condemns Myanmar coup, calls for arms embargo

In a rare move, the UN General Assembly condemned Myanmar’s military coup and called for an arms embargo against the country in a resolution demonstrating widespread global opposition to the junta and demanding the restoration of the country’s democratic transition.

Supporters had hoped the 193-member world body would approve the resolution unanimously by consensus, but Belarus called for a vote. The measure was approved with 119 countries voting “yes,” Belarus voting “no,” and 36 countries abstaining.

The resolution was the result of lengthy negotiations by a so-called Core Group including the European Union and many Western nations and the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations known as ASEAN, which includes Myanmar. A UN diplomat said there was an agreement with ASEAN to seek consensus, but in the vote its members were divided with some including Indonesia and Vietnam voting ‘yes’ and others including Thailand and Laos, abstaining.

The resolution didn’t get the overwhelming support its backers wanted. But the action by the General Assembly, while not legally binding, reflects international condemnation of the February 1 coup that ousted Aung San Suu Kyi’s party from power and put her under arrest along with many government leaders and politicians, as well as strong opposition to the military crackdown on protesters demanding an end to the army’s takeover.


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