Network Myanmar



Historical Bias in the Report of the UN Fact-Finding Mission 

The Report of the Detailed Findings of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar to the UN Human Rights Council, which readers will recall was first discussed under political pressure in the UN Security Council at their 8381st Meeting on 24 October 2018 even before it had been considered by the Human Rights Council itself, has in many ways been the basis for cases now under consideration in the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice.

The evidence presented in the Report has been contested by Myanmar, but there can be no doubt that serious crimes against humanity have been committed in Rakhine State during the last three years. Myanmar has said that they are conducting their own investigation, while a majority of Members of the United Nations are calling for an independent inquiry.

An aspect of this matter which has not yet been considered is the accuracy and impartiality of references to historical events since Myanmar’s independence in 1948. In the attached analysis I take the view that the Mission in its Report has not shown the objectivity which should have been expected from a Mission appointed by the Human Rights Council to establish the facts about the recent troubles in Rakhine State. In particular, I analyse two paragraphs of the Report, Nos. 473 and 475, which should raise concerns. 

Op-Ed: Historical Bias in the Report of the UN Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar

Derek Tonkin

7 December 2019