Myanmar - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 1:42 pm on 11th February 2021.

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Photo of Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) 1:42 pm, 11th February 2021

My Lords, the noble Baroness said that I have warm words for China; I was merely reiterating our practical engagement with that country. We should not forget that China is a P5 member of the UN Security Council. As I have said a number of times on various issues, where we have direct challenges with countries that are P5 members, we must continue to engage with them, albeit in very candid terms, through the international fora of which the UN Security Council is an important part. I strongly believe in doing this because I have seen for myself the benefits.

The noble Baroness also raised an important point about the Human Rights Council. I agree that there are members of the council which do not reflect in any way the value system we subscribe to. I can assure her that, through our engagement at the council, we look carefully at the human rights records of those countries that put themselves forward for election to the 47-strong membership. While the council is still not without its challenges, it provides a very useful forum in which to bring these issues to the fore at the top level of international diplomacy.