7th Session of the UN Human Rights Council
Review, Rationalization and Improvement of Mandates (RRI):
Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Myanmar
Monday, 17 March 2008
Thank you, Mr. President,
We wish to express our appreciation to Mr. Paulo Sergio Pinheiro for his work and
commitment to the protection of the rights of people in Burma over the last seven years. On
the same note, we would also like to extend our gratitude to the first and second holders of
this mandate, Mr. Yozo Yokota and Mr. Rajsoomer Lallah.
It has been 16 years since this mandate was established. However, appalling levels of human
rights violations in Burma persist. We are deeply disturbed to find the issues in Mr. Pinheiro’s
most recent report which were already raised in Mr. Yokota’s first report in 1993. A lack of
cooperation on the part of the Burmese authorities is a common element of both, for example.
As the human rights crisis in Burma continues, we urge the Human Rights Council to enhance
the mandate of the Special Rapporteur in the future, paying particular attention to the need to
ensure effective implementation of the recommendations produced by the mandate holder(s).
We suggest that the work of new mandate holder be geared towards:
a) Critically engaging the SPDC to fulfil its human rights duties and obligations to the people
b) Leading a full-fledged fact-finding mission of various mandates relevant to the situation,
and establishing a field presence of the OHCHR in Burma;
c) Ensuring that the scheduled constitutional referendum in May 2008 and subsequent
elections in 2010 be inclusive processes and consistent with international standards, and
that provide the basis for genuine national reconciliation and democratic transition in
d) Seeking effective cooperation from the international community, particularly on the role of
business in protecting and promoting human rights in Burma;
e) Visiting ethnic nationality areas in the country, where the most grievous human rights
violations are taking place.
Lastly we assure you of the continuing support of Asian NGOs for this mandate. We will
continue to monitor the situation in Burma and assist the work of the Special Rapporteur.
Thank you, Mr. President.
Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)
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On behalf of: Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA), Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK), Asian Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD), International NGO Forum on Indonesian Development (INFID), MINBYUN-Lawyers for a Democratic Society, People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy (PSPD) and Worldview International Foundation (WIF)