Only Philippines, China vote against UN rights resolution on Rohingya Muslims
In this file photo taken on November 26, 2017 Rohingya Muslim refugees walk down a hillside in the Kutupalong refugee camp in Cox's Bazar.
AFP/Ed Jones
Only Philippines, China vote against UN rights resolution on Rohingya Muslims
Patricia Lourdes Viray ( - September 27, 2019 - 4:03pm

MANILA, Philippines — Only the Philippines and China voted against a United Nations resolution addressing the human rights situation of Rohingya Muslims and other minorities in Myanmar.

The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), during its 42nd regular session in Switzerland, adopted a resolution supporting justice and accountability for Rohingya Muslims who have fled Myanmar's Rakhine State to escape atrocities committed by state security forces.

The resolution urged the Myanmar government to sustain democratic transition by bringing all national institutions, including the military, under a democratically elected civilian government, the UNHRC said on Twitter.

A total of 37 member states voted in favor of the resolution while seven other countries abstained.

Two countries — the Philippines and China — voting against it.

Those who abstained from voting were Angola, Cameroon, Congo, India, Japan, Nepal and Ukraine.

In March, the Philippines, along with China and Cuba, also voted against a resolution at the UNHRC to condemn the continuing human rights abuses in Myanmar.

In November, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. that abstention on a similar resolution at the UN General Assembly would be the right thing to do "in deference to the Muslim and non-Muslim member states of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations)."

He said then that a “yes” vote would be “divisive” and would “kill” ASEAN.

A report from the Independent International Fact-finding Mission on Myanmar released last week found that 600,000 Rohingya remaining in the country continue to live under the threat of genocide.

The mission found that "genocidal acts" in Myanmar's "clearance operations" in 2017 killed thousands and pushed over 740,000 Rohingya to flee to Bangladesh.

"Myanmar should turn to the international community for assistance, and the international community should continue to provide its support for genuine efforts to address impunity and to promote justice in Myanmar," the report read.

The mission called on the UNHRC to continue monitoring the situation in Myanmar, to react early on signs of human rights crises and to take all steps necessary to prevent violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law.

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