By LALIT K. JHA / UNITED NATIONS
The Irrawaddy News
Monday, November 10, 2008
Forty-three nations voted to send a resolution highly critical of the Burmese government to the UN General Assembly for a vote, probably in December.
Among the countries sponsoring the resolution were Australia, Canada, Germany, Israel, Italy, Norway, South Korea, Britain and the US.
The resolution, which will be debated in committee before it is taken up in the general assembly, urged the governing junta to ensure full respect for human rights and to take steps for the restoration of democracy through a free and fair election.
In addition, it called for the release of Aung San Suu Kyi, the pro-democracy leader who has been under house arrest for the past 13 years, and urged the release of all political prisoners, including leaders from the National League for Democracy, 88 Generation Students and ethnic groups.
The resolution called on the junta to fully implement previous recommendations of the UN special rapporteur on Burma, the General Assembly, the UN Human Rights Council, Commission on Human Rights and the International Labor Organization.
The resolution also called for the Burmese government to lift all restraints on peaceful political activities and to ensure unhindered access to media information.
Expressing its support for the good offices role of the UN secretary-general and his special envoy on Burma, the resolution urged the resumption of a dialogue with political opposition groups, including the National League for Democracy and representatives of ethnic nationalities. It also urged that arrest of political opposition group members be halted immediately.