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BURMESE AMBASSADOR TO THE ILC, AFTE
- Subject: BURMESE AMBASSADOR TO THE ILC, AFTE
- From: darnott@xxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Fri, 16 Jun 2000 08:56:00
The full report of the debate is on the following link
(scroll down to 4th report of the Selection Committee)
Mr. THAN (Government delegate, Myanmar) ? Today is indeed a sad day for the
ILO and a sadder day for the
developing countries that are member States of the ILO. Today Myanmar is
singled out for censure and punitive action.
Tomorrow it may be another developing country. As all of us are aware,
judgements of observance or non-observance of
labour standards are more often than not subjective, arbitrary and in some
instances even politically motivated.
In the case of Myanmar the problem arose from an arbitrary judgement based
on misinformation. This misinformation emanates
from elements opposed to the Myanmar Government ? insurgent groups and
self-proclaimed workers? organizations which
are more politically motivated than dedicated to promoting the interests of
workers. It is obvious that a fair and balanced
perception cannot be obtained if the judgement is to be based on such
Notwithstanding the more prudent approach advocated by many of its member
States, the International Labour Conference
has chosen a path of confrontation and coercion by invoking article 33.
The ASEAN member States, together with like-minded countries, have
expressed reservations against the action taken by the
International Labour Conference.
Myanmar appreciates the principal stand taken by those countries that
article 33 of the ILO Constitution should never be
invoked and that sanctions should never be imposed on Myanmar. It is most
regrettable that a drastic decision, contrary to
what many Members believe in and uphold, was taken by the International
Labour Conference. It is obvious that this
unwarranted and unjustified action by the International Labour Conference
is aimed at exerting pressure on Myanmar. The
positive steps taken by the Myanmar Government have been completely ignored.
The decision just taken by the Conference will no doubt place the
credibility, integrity and the reputation of the ILO in question.
It penalizes a member State which has been voluntarily cooperating with the
ILO and which has already been subjected to
other punitive measures.
This action by the Conference is most unfair, most unreasonable and most
unjust. This resolution is totally unacceptable to my
delegation. For these reasons, my delegation totally and categorically
rejects the resolution and dissociates itself from it and any
activities or effects connected with it.
Nevertheless, I should like to express our hope that the avenue of
cooperation has not been completely closed. We have
indicated our willingness to cooperate in good faith on our part on the
basis of the letter of the Minister of Labour, dated 27
May 2000, provided that the other side reciprocates this spirit and
refrains from taking coercive measures.