The United Nations General Assembly condemned Myanmar’s military coup on Friday, calling for an arms embargo against the country in a resolution that indicated overwhelming global opposition to the junta and support for the restoration of the country’s democratic transition.
While many had expected the 193-member general assembly would pass the resolution unanimously by consensus, the Eastern European state of Belarus called for a vote.
The measure was approved with 119 countries voting “yes,” Belarus voting “no,” and 36 countries abstaining, including China and India, along with Russia, AFP reports.
Among ASEAN countries, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines voted “yes,” while Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Brunei abstained.
UN special envoy Christine Schraner Burgener warned the General Assembly after the vote that “the risk of a large-scale civil war is real.”
“Time is of the essence,” she said. “The opportunity to reverse the military takeover is narrowing and regional threat increasing.”
The resolution was the outcome of extensive discussions between a group known as the Core Group, which included the European Union and several Western nations, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, which included Myanmar.
While not legally binding, the vote by the UN General Assembly reflects international condemnation of the coup that deposed Aung San Suu Kyi on 1 February, seeing her imprisoned along with many government leaders and politicians.
The resolution calls on Myanmar’s military junta to restore the country’s democratic transition, condemns its “excessive and lethal violence” since the coup, and calls on all countries “to prevent the flow of arms into Myanmar.”
The resolution calls on Myanmar to implement the five-point action plan proposed and adopted by ASEAN at a special summit held on 24 April.
The plan calls for Myanmar to end the violence and begin a constructive dialogue, as well as accepting humanitarian assistance.