Defence

Why did India abstain from voting on the Myanmar resolution at the UN General Assembly?

By Scroll

On June 18, the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly passed a resolution on the “situation in Myanmar” with a vote of 119-1. Although not legally binding on member states, the document carries significant political heft.

Among other things, the resolution calls on the Myanmar military to end the state of emergency, reopen the “democratically elected parliament”, release detained civilian leaders “immediately and unconditionally”, “swiftly implement” the five-point consensus reached at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations meeting in April, cooperate with the ASEAN Chair’s Special Envoy, end “all violence” against peaceful protestors, and allow the UN Special Envoy of the Secretary-General on Myanmar to visit the country.

It also calls on all member states to “prevent the flow of arms into Myanmar” while recalling last year’s UN Security Council resolution demanding a global ceasefire in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In total, 36 countries – including India – abstained from voting. Belarus, which requested the vote, was the only country to vote against the resolution. The full voting record was published by Canada’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Bob Rae, on his Twitter account.

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