January 21, 2007 / 1:59 PM / 12 years ago

Selection of U.N. quotes after Myanmar measure vetoed

(Reuters) - Following are comments made after China and Russia on Friday vetoed a U.S.-drafted U.N. Security Council resolution that would have urged military leaders in Myanmar, formerly Burma, to stop persecuting minority and opposition groups and take concrete steps toward democracy.

— “Undeniably, Myanmar is now faced with many challenges in the political, economic and social areas, and some of these problems are quite serious. But no country is perfect and every country will have to go through a process of constant improvement. ... As a matter of fact, none of Myanmar’s immediate neighbors ... believe the notion that the current situation in Myanmar poses a threat to regional peace and security.” -Chinese U.N. Ambassador Wang Guangya.

— “The people of Burma should not feel disheartened by this. This was an effort to bring the situation to the attention of the world community and to send a clear signal that we have not forgotten you. And we won’t forget you.” -Acting U.S. U.N. Ambassador Alejandro Wolff.

— “The positive side is what united the council. It is quite clear in the statements made, in the discussions that are taking place, that we all share deep concern about the plight of the beleaguered people of Burma/Myanmar. ... We want to be able to help a political process unfold so we can have the rule of law, democratic institutions, and that there can be sustainable economic development in a country blessed with many resources. Instead they have had 50 years of the most abject misery.” -British U.N. Ambassador Emyr Jones Parry.

— “The Security Council should be proud of what transpired today. If there is a justifiable occasion to use a negative vote by a permanent member, this is certainly the case. ... I am most grateful to both the People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation for this strong position of principle. ... There are many issues that deserve — in fact, demand — the immediate and undivided attention of the Security Council. Myanmar by no stretch of the imagination is among them. Myanmar does not pose any threat to international peace and security.” -Myanmar’s U.N. ambassador, Kyaw Tint Swe.

“China and Russia exercised their veto powers to reject it. South Africa also opposed the resolution, while Qatar, Indonesia, and Congo abstained. ... I am very disappointed by the actions of these governments. By rejecting the proposed resolution, they effectively signal to the Burmese military junta to continue its crimes against humanity and its war on its own citizens. ... They are giving the regime a license to kill.” -Aung Din, former political prisoner and policy director of the Washington-based U.S. Campaign for Burma.

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