UN chief calls for action on Myanmar and DPRK

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Secretary-General António Guterres holds a wide-ranging press conference ahead of the general debate of the 72nd session of the General Assembly. UN Photo/Mark Garten

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres reiterated on Wednesday the need to end the wave of violence in Myanmar.

Speaking to the press ahead of the General Assembly high-level debate that starts next Tuesday, Mr. Guterres highlighted the severity of the humanitarian situation in the country.

Ana Carmo has more.

Secretary-General António Guterres reiterated his call for Muslims from Myanmar’s Rakhine state to be granted nationality or at least a legal status that would allow them to lead a normal life.

He also urged the international community to help provide assistance for the nearly 380,000 people who have fled into Bangladesh.

He spoke to the press ahead of the General Assembly high-level debate that starts next Tuesday:

"I call on the Myanmar authorities to suspend military action, end the violence, uphold the rule of law, and recognize the right of return of all those who had to leave the country".

Mr. Guterres repeated his call for "an effective action plan" to address the root causes of the crisis.

The Security Council is due to discuss the situation on Wednesday afternoon in an urgent closed-door meeting, following an official letter from the Secretary-General expressing his concern.

Here's Mr. Guterres again:

"The humanitarian situation is catastrophic, when we met last week, there were 125,000 Rohingya refugees who had fled into Bangladesh. That number has now tripled to nearly 380,000. Many are staying in makeshift settlements or with host communities who are generously sharing what they have. Women and children are arriving hungry and malnourished."

The humanitarian community has launched this week a $77 million appeal to aid some of the stateless refugees for the next three months.

Also in today’s press briefing, Mr. Guterres reiterated his call for a political solution to the situation in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).

He said that nuclear and missile tests by the country created "great instability and tension" on the Korean peninsula, throughout the region and beyond.

Ana Carmo, United Nations

Duration: 1'44"

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