Council Conclusions on Burma/Myanmar

Luxembourg, 15-16 October 2007

The Council adopted the following conclusions:

"1. The EU strongly condemns the brutal crack-down on demonstrators in Burma/Myanmar. It recalls its earlier declarations in which it urged the Burmese authorities to exercise restraint in the face of peaceful protests. The EU regrets that these calls have gone unheeded and regrets that arrests have continued over the recent days.

2. The EU demands that the authorities immediately cease all violent repression and intimidation and that they release all those arrested since mid-August, as well as Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and all other political prisoners.

3. The EU welcomes the UN Security Council Presidential statement of 11 October on Burma/Myanmar. The EU strongly supports the actions by the UN, in particular the good offices mission of UN Special Envoy Ibrahim Gambari. The EU backs further active UN engagement, including by the Security Council. The EU looks forward to a new visit by the Special Envoy in the coming weeks.

4. The EU welcomes the special session of the UN Human Rights Council and the adoption by consensus of a Resolution strongly deploring the continued violent repression and urging the authorities of Burma/Myanmar to ensure full respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.

5. The EU also calls upon the government to disclose information about the whereabouts of those arrested since mid-August and to allow international agencies access to them. The EU also calls for a thorough and impartial investigation of the deaths of demonstrators as well as other serious and continuous violations of human rights, and for those liable to be held to account. In this regard, the EU urges the authorities to co-operate fully with UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Myanmar, Sergio Pinheiro, including through the urgent facilitation of a visit by him to Burma/Myanmar.

6. In line with the Presidency statement of 25 September and in view of the seriousness of the current situation and in solidarity with the people of Burma/Myanmar, the EU deems it necessary to increase direct pressure on the regime through stronger measures as well as the following additional restrictive measures: an export ban on equipment to the sectors of logs and timber and mining of metals, minerals, precious and semi precious stones; an import ban of products of the sectors mentioned before; and an investment ban in these sectors. It will therefore adopt a package of measures that do not harm the general population but that target those responsible for the violent crack-down and the overall political stalemate in the country. The EU stands ready to review, amend or reinforce these measures, in the light of developments on the ground and the results of the Good Offices Mission of the United Nations Special Envoy to Burma/Myanmar Mr. Ibrahim Gambari. The Council requests relevant bodies to elaborate further restrictive measures, including a ban on new investments.

7. The EU confirms the continuation of its substantial humanitarian aid programmes aimed at the most vulnerable populations of Burma/Myanmar and Burmese refugees in neighbouring countries. The EU stands ready to increase this assistance, subject to further assessments of the humanitarian situation. In this context, the EU urges the government to keep channels for the delivery of assistance open and calls on the authorities to co-operate with international actors in this regard.

8. The EU welcomes the unanimous condemnation of developments and the efforts by ASEAN and neighbours of Burma/Myanmar to positively influence the Burmese authorities. As the situation requires the sustained engagement of the UN and the support of the international community and all regional actors, the EU encourages all of Burma's neighbours to maintain pressure for a credible and fully participatory reform process.

9. The EU urges the Burmese authorities to recognize that a return to the situation before the recent demonstrations is both unacceptable and unsustainable. Only a genuine process of internal reform and reconciliation with the involvement of the opposition will deliver stability, democracy and prosperity to the country. The EU supports steps towards such an inclusive process leading to democracy, full respect for human rights and the rule of law.

10. The EU again expresses its readiness to assist Burma/Myanmar in its process of transition. The EU regrets that the Burmese government has made this impossible so far. Should this situation improve, the EU stands ready to review the restrictive measures, to engage with Burma in its development and to find new areas of cooperation.

11. The EU is determined to assist the people of Burma/Myanmar further on their path to democracy, security and prosperity."



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