Thursday, July 24, 2008

Myanmar and the death of Responsibility To Protect (update XLVII)

Today the Security Council is again discussing the issue of Myanmar. The Secretary-General's special envoy Ibrahim Gambari is going back to the country in mid-August, and by golly, the US wants some results this time.

Quoth Ambassador Khalilzad today at the Council: "[I]f they don't cooperate on a timebound negotiations and release of political prisoners, if they think that allowing Mr. Gambari is just to buy time to deflect pressure, that they can get away with that over time, they are misguided. There will be Security Council focus on this issue. There will be a majority of countries that will push for action if there is no progress. Now of course we know the rules of the game. Countries could stop effective Council action in this regard. We will come to that. But that will not deter us from pushing for action for sustained focus and attention by the Security Council on this issue. So I would urge them to take advantage of the opportunity that the Gambari visit offers ... ."

Translation: "Burma, if you don't do what we demand, we'll make China and Russia veto a draft Security Council resolution about it! So there!"

If this is supposed to "incentivize" (to use Khalilzad's so-called word) the Burmese authorities to be reasonable, I'm not exactly sure how.

No comments: