Tutu disappointed at SA’s vote on Myanmar

31 January 2007 at 2:35 am | Posted in News | Leave a comment

Archbishop Desmond Tutu has expressed his deep disappointment at South Africa’s vote to block a U.N. Security Council resolution demanding an end to human rights abuses in Myanmar.

In a 2005 report Archbishop Tutu, co-wrote with the former Czech President Vaclav Havel, the Nobel Laureate and Sydney Peace Prize recipient, has urged the UN Security Council to take action against the military regume 

South Africa, voted with China and Russia on 12 Jan 2007, opposing the resolution proposed by the United States and backed by Britain and France. The vote was 9-3 in favor of the resolution, with three abstentions. However, China and Russia cast a rare double veto, which blocked the resolution’s passage.

On the vote, South Africa’s deputy foreign affairs minister Aziz Pahad said while South Africa was “deeply concerned at the situation in Myanmar,” the country’s vote against the resolution had been technical. He said Myanmar did not pose a threat to international peace and security and was a matter best left to the U.N. Human Rights Council.“If others had used the arguments we are using today when we asked them for their support against apartheid, we might still have been unfree,” Archbishop Tutu wrote in an e-mail to the Associated Press.

Tutu also expressed concern at the reaction to the vote, which has been hailed by Myanmar regime as a victory. “The tyrannical military regime is gloating, and we sided with them,” he said. The opposition Democratic Alliance, also condemned South Africa for its vote, saying it did not bode well for the country’s tenure on the council.

Associated Press, 21 Jan 2007


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