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UUSC issues five-point plan for U.S. action on Burma

Burmese-American activist cites need for urgent action in the face of mounting atrocities

Cambridge, MA—The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) is issuing a five-point urgent action plan for the United States to help bring peace to Burma (also known as Myanmar). As Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) this week, UUSC is calling for the U.S. to stop deferring to ASEAN’s failed approach and act now to help stop the Burmese junta’s human rights atrocities.

“It’s been a year since ASEAN put forward a five-point consensus plan for Burma and it is clear this has failed,” said Myra Dahgaypaw, UUSC’s Senior Partnership Officer for Justice and International Accountability and a human rights advocate from Karen State, Eastern Burma. “The U.S. can no longer defer to ASEAN and must take tangible action now to stop the junta’s ongoing scorched-earth campaign of indiscriminate bombing, rape, and murder among many other crimes they have commited against the people of Burma.”

UUSC is laying out five tangible steps the U.S. must take to hold the junta accountable and support the people of Burma:

  • Impose targeted sanctions on military-owned companies and their cronies, including Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprises.
  • Impose a coordinated global arms embargo and sanctions on the supply of aviation fuel.
  • Pressure the junta to allow access to humanitarian aid for internally displaced people (IDPs).
  • Designate a safe zone for IDPs who flee for their lives and have no safe place to go.
  • Refer the junta to the International Criminal Court for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

“These five important steps offer a clear path forward to accountability for the junta and justice for the Burmese people,” said Dahgaypaw. “At a time when countries around the world face a choice between tyranny and democracy, the U.S. cannot stand by as the lives and freedoms of 54 million people in Burma are attacked.”

Dahgaypaw said the Biden administration’s robust response to Russia’s illegal war against Ukraine demonstrates that action is possible. “The U.S. refused to stand by and watch atrocities unfold in Ukraine, proving that where there’s a will, there’s a way,” she said.

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The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) is a human rights and solidarity organization founded as a rescue mission in 1940 during the Holocaust. Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and with a membership of more than 35,000 supporters across the United States, UUSC’s programs focus on the issues of migrant justice, climate and disaster justice, and international justice and accountability. 

UUSC’s Burma program spans 25 years of donor support to Burmese- and ethnic minority-led human rights and humanitarian aid organizations.