Clinton: US will push for UN commission on Myanmar

AP News
Posted: Oct 28, 2010 5:18 PM
Clinton: US will push for UN commission on Myanmar

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Thursday the U.S. will continue to push for the creation of an international commission to investigate alleged crimes against humanity and war crimes in Myanmar.

Clinton said in a speech in Hawaii that the U.S. is committed to seeking "accountability" for alleged human rights violations in the country, which was formerly known as Burma.

The proposal is almost certain to face opposition from China, a close ally of Myanmar's government. The U.S. first called for creation of the commission by the U.N. in August.

Clinton said the U.S. wouldn't impose its values on other nations but also believes some standards are universal.

"In short, human rights are in everyone's interest. This is a message that the United States delivers every day, in every region," Clinton said at the start of a two-week tour of the Asia-Pacific region.

The nation's top diplomat emphasized the U.S. aimed to work closely with other countries _ "friends, allies and other partners" to establish the panel. "We will make clear to Burma's leaders _ old and new alike _ that they must break from the policies of the past," Clinton said.

She used the opportunity to call Myanmar's Nov. 7 elections _ the country's first in 20 years _ "deeply flawed."

The elections are supposed to be part of what the Myanmar government says is its road map to democracy following five decades of military rule. But critics say the ruling junta has already taken steps to ensure that the military remains in power by hobbling the country's main opposition party and limiting campaigning.

No foreign journalists or outside observers will be allowed into the country for the election.

Detained Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi's party is boycotting the vote, charging that the process is unfair and undemocratic. The party won a landslide victory in the 1990 polls but was not allowed to take power by the military.

Suu Kyi, who's been imprisoned or under house arrest for 15 of the past 21 years, is expected to be up for release on Nov. 13, just six days after the poll.