The statement calls on Myanmar to cooperate with the United Nations and encourages UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to appoint a special advisor on Myanmar. British Deputy UN Ambassador Jonathan Allen said despite the decision to drop the resolution, the council was issuing astrong, united message.
"The important thing is the content," Allen told reporters. "Gaining a very strong, unanimous statement I thinkwas the real prize here." The council statement was agreed as Guterres prepares to travel to Manila this week to join leaders of the Southeast Asian (ASEAN) bloc for a summit.
The Rohingya refugee crisis is expected to be a top issue of discussion at the summit, to be attended by US PresidentDonald Trump, who will dispatch US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to Myanmar later this month. Rights groups have accused the Security Council of dragging its feet and are calling for sanctions against thoseinvolved in the atrocities in Rakhine.
"Going forward, council members should be clear that they won't be held hostage by China's objections, and will insteadbe driven by the needs of victims and realities on the ground, not what makes China comfortable," said Akshaya Kumar, Human Rights Watch deputy UN director.