Toward Democracy, Human Rights and Federalism

Friday, February 3, 2012

Sydney Declaration (1998)

The National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma
July 12-24,1998
Sydney, Australia

We, the cabinet of the National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma,meeting in Sydney, Australia, July 12-24, hereby-

Express our thanks to the Australian Government, the New South Wales Labour Council and the Australian people for their assistance in making this meeting possible in Sydney,

Acknowledge that the investment sanction, the suspension of GSP privileges, the visa bans, the discouragement of business with the Burmese military junta initiated by the United States, Canada, the European Union and the United Kingdom, and the boycott activities initiated by the grassroots movements worldwide have created conditions
conducive to a peaceful resolution of the political problem in Burma,

Call on the governments and grassroots movements to maintain their pressure, and on the international financial institutions, such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the Asian Development Bank, to refrain from resuming loans and grants to the junta until a dialogue for transition to democracy takes place,

Express our gratitude to all governments, individuals and organizations who have worked tirelessly and selflessly to assist the peoples of Burma in their efforts to restore human rights and democracy to Burma,

Fully support the decisions by the NLD's May 27 Party Congress calling for the convening the Parliament by August 21 and rejecting any constitution drafted without the consent of the people,

Express our firm belief that the call by the NLD to convene the Parliament by August 21 is to fulfill the will of the people as expressed through the 1990 general elections,

Call on Parliaments, Congresses, elected representatives, labor unions, governments, religious institutions, international organizations and the international community at large to support the effort by the NLD to convene the Parliament and bring democracy to Burma,

Encourage the people of Burma to rally around the NLD and extend their support to the effort to convene the Parliament,

Re-affirm our commitment to the establishment of a multi-party parliamentary democracy within the framework of a genuine federal union,

Affirm that the forces of democracy in Burma remain strong and ready to serve the people,

Re-affirm a strong commitment to the principle that the will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government as declared in The Universal Declaration of Human Rights,

Welcome the initiative taken by Thailand and the Philippines, and the Support given by Japan to that initiative, to introduce a "flexible engagement" policy at the July 24-26 meeting of ASEAN and its dialogue partners in Manila,

Applaud the July 16, 1998 resolution of the European Parliament highlighting human rights violations in Burma, and agrees with its call on the European Union and Council and the UN Security Council to impose economic sanction against the Burmese military junta and to prohibit any investment until violations of human rights are stopped.

Express gratitude to the Government of the Republic of Korea for expressing its support to the convening of the Parliament in Burma, and to the dialogue partners of ASEAN, who actively supported the political and personal rights of the NLD leaders and members, as well as the UN Human Rights Special Rapporteur and human rights organizations who immediately responded to the recent repression and restrictions imposed against elected NLD representatives,

Welcome the resolutions on the situation of human rights in Burma adopted in consensus by the UN General Assembly and the UN Commission on Human Rights for the past seven consecutive years,

Urge the United States, the other nations and the international agencies to recognize that because the junta is so heavily dependent on the narcotics trade and so closely aligned with well-known heroin traffickers, a political solution to Burma's problems is a prerequisite for a credible counter-narcotics effort in Burma, and therefore to ensure that no funds are provided to the military, or in cooperation with the regime.

Call on international agencies and non-government organizations not to provide assistance to the regime, or in concert or cooperation with any agency of the regime until substantial progress is made towards a transition to democracy. Under the present circumstances, conditions do not exist for NGOs and the international agencies to assist the needy people of Burma without directly or indirectly supporting the ruling generals.

Call on China, the other neighbors and the international community to embargo sale of arms and war supplies to the Burmese military junta, and

Call on Japan to reconsider the decision to renew Official Development Assistance to the military junta without assurances that a substantive political dialogue will take place with the NLD and the ethnic leaders.

Note with grave concern that:

The ruling generals are pursuing a policy of armed confrontation with Burma's ethnic peoples,
Forced labor and forced relocation by the military are still the prevalent practices in Burma,Laws restricting fundamental rights are still in force,
Politicians and activists are arbitrarily being imprisoned, and
Travel restrictions are being imposed on Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and all elected NLD representatives
Resolved to:
Launch an international campaign in support of the NLD's call for the Convening of Parliament by August 21,
Seek the assistance of Burmese and international experts to draft National socioeconomic plans for the transitional period toward Democracy in Burma, including a conceptual framework to help revitalize the crumbling economy in the short run as well as produce a sustainable economic development in the long run.
Implement a national, reconciliation program designed to strengthen unity and solidarity among all the ethnic nationalities and provide opportunities to them to develop a common vision for a future Democratic Federal Union of Burma.
Launch a strategic diplomatic campaign in order to mobilize international support for the Burmese democracy movement and to impose effective pressure against the Burmese military regime, and
Establish The Burma Fund to implement programs envisaged by the NCGUB and for it to conduct policy research for the reconstruction of Burma.

We call on all the patriotic forces inside and outside Burma to unite and redouble their efforts to end militarism in Burma and to build a genuine democratic federal union where equality, justice and self-determination of all ethnic nationalities are guaranteed.

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