US urges UN Security Council action on Myanmar

United Nations (United States) (AFP) –


The United States on Friday demanded swift action from the UN Security Council on Myanmar amid a push for a resolution to pressure the military junta to restore democracy.

"The military needs to feel the cost associated with its horrific actions. The stability and prosperity of the region depends on swift action," US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield told a Security Council meeting.

"The military has ignored our condemnations, posing a test for the Security Council," she said.

"Will the Council quibble over language in yet another statement or will we act to save the lives of the Burmese people?" she said, using Myanmar's former name of Burma.

Estonia, a non-permanent member of the Security Council, said that the 15-nation body needed to start drafting a resolution that could include sanctions on Myanmar including an international arms embargo.

"The United Nations Security Council is the only entity in the world, which has the legitimate power to protect nations at risk and must explore every tool in its toolbox to end this horrible situation," said Estonia's ambassador, Sven Jurgenson.

Russia and China both hold veto power and have historically opposed international sanctions, although Beijing -- the military's primary ally -- has voiced increasing concern about the instability in its neighbor.

The military on February 1 toppled democratic leader Aung San Suu Kyi and has since violently suppressed pro-democracy protests, with the United Nations saying that more than 600 people have died.