The United Nations Security Council called for the release of Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi and others detained by the military and voiced concern over the state of emergency, but stopped short of condemning this week’s coup.
U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration is meanwhile considering an executive order in response to the coup that could include some sanctions, national security adviser Jake Sullivan said.
Myanmar’s long and troubled transition to democracy was derailed on Monday when army commander Min Aung Hlaing took power, alleging irregularities in an election last November that Suu Kyi’s party won in a landslide.
The 15-member U.N. Security Council said in a statement agreed by consensus on Thursday that they “stressed the need to uphold democratic institutions and processes, refrain from violence, and fully respect human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law.”
Language in the statement was softer than that originally drafted by Britain and made no mention of a coup – apparently to win support from China and Russia, which have traditionally shielded Myanmar from significant council action. China also has large economic interests in Myanmar.