The Philippine government refused to sign a United Nations Human Rights Council Resolution urging Myanmar’s military to respect human rights and the rule of law.
In a statement issued on February 13, the Philippines’ Foreign Affairs department said the country joins China and other countries in “dissociating” itself from the resolution.
“The Philippines cannot stress strongly enough the primacy of national internal efforts towards democratic reforms, and never by the imposition of foreign solutions whether in regional or multilateral contexts, including through this Council,” read the statement.
On February 12, China and Russia, followed by Venezuela and Bolivia, pulled out from the resolution, which also called for the immediate release of Burmese civilian leaders.
The resolution was approved by consensus during the council’s 29th special session in Geneva.
It stressed the need to “respect the right to peaceful assembly and refrain from using any unnecessary or excessive force against the public.”
China, however, called on the international community to help different parties in Myanmar carry out dialogue and reconciliation, adding that the situation is an internal affair.
Chen Xu, China’s Permanent Representative to the UN’s Geneva Office, said the international community, “on the premise of respecting Myanmar’s sovereignty, political independence, territorial integrity, and national unity, should help relevant parties in Myanmar carry out dialogue and reconciliation.”
Chen said the international community must do it “in line with the will and interests of people in Myanmar and support the mediation efforts of the ASEAN.”
The Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs said that it has been “supportive of Myanmar’s progress towards a fuller democracy, cognizant of the Army’s role in preserving its territorial integrity and national security.”
It also honored the “unifying role” of Myanmar’s state counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, saying that she is “a deeply and widely admired icon of democracy among the Filipino people.”
“The Philippines will settle for nothing less than, and nothing else but the complete restoration of the status quo in which Myanmar had made so much progress,” read the statement.
The military in Myanmar took over the government, justifying it on the grounds of fraud in a Nov. 8 election. The electoral commission dismissed the army’s complaints.