UN Security Council to discuss Myanmar issue

13 September 2017 - 20:10 By Bianca Capazorio
Antonio Guterres. File photo
Antonio Guterres. File photo

The United Nations Security Council will discuss the Myanmar issue on Wednesday after receiving an official letter from the secretary general of the organisation‚ Antonio Guterres.

Addressing a media conference at the United Nations ahead of next week's General Assembly‚ Guterres said it was the first time since 1989 that a secretary general of the organisation had written an official letter to the Security Council requesting their action.

Over 300‚000 mainly Rohingya Muslims have fled the country into Bangladesh since August 25.

Guterres said the humanitarian situation was "catastrophic" and asked whether he viewed the crisis as ethnic cleansing said "one third of the Rohingya have had to flee their country- can you find a better way to describe it?"

He however stopped short of calling it a genocide saying the "substance" of the issue was more important than the terms used to describe it.

He said he had an open line of communication with Aung San Suo Kyi‚ who has been widely criticised by Nobel Peace prize winners including Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama for the crisis in her country.

Guterres also applauded the unity shown by the Security Council on Monday in passing a resolution on North Korea. He said North Korea had to be made to comply with its international obligations through political solutions as "military action will cause devastation on a scale that will take generations to recover from".

Gueterres also signalled his concern about the increasing numbers of refugees in the Central African Republic which had reported a 37 percent increase in the number of refugees and displaced people over the last three months.