Myanmar: Health Workers

Baroness Nye Excerpts
Tuesday 7th March 2023

(1 year, 4 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park Portrait Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park (Con)
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The noble Lord makes an important point, and I will make sure that that suggestion is conveyed to relevant Ministers and officials. I will add that, according to the World Health Organization, one-third of all attacks on health workers around the world have occurred in Myanmar. This is a real problem. I think the approach adopted in that country by the international community has worked and, like the noble Lord, I do not see any reason why it would not in other areas where we do not recognise the regime.

Baroness Williams of Trafford Portrait Baroness Williams of Trafford (Con)
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My Lords, it is the turn of the Labour Benches.

Baroness Nye Portrait Baroness Nye (Lab)
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My Lords, I declare an interest as a trustee of Burma Campaign UK. The Minister will know that, since the coup in 2021, the military has brutally suppressed its critics and unlawfully attacked civilians on the ground and from the air, including many health workers working in the ethnic areas. While the UK and EU-imposed sanctions on aviation fuel are welcome, will the Minister give assurances that he will keep those sanctions under urgent review as companies change names to avoid sanctions, and look into whether British companies are involved in the provision of third-party services to vessels involved in the shipment of aviation fuel to Myanmar, such as insurance, shipping or financial services? Stopping the military’s relentless bombing campaign on innocent civilians will help those providing humanitarian aid.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park Portrait Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park (Con)
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The Government always keep their sanctions policy under review. We are considering a range of further targets and other measures to hold the suppressive, brutal regime to account. It is vital that any sanctions imposed have the desired effect of denying the regime credibility and reducing its access to finance, arms and equipment. Part of that is to tackle the problem identified by the noble Baroness—the use of aviation fuel to facilitate bombing campaigns. That is a focus of the FCDO when it comes to looking at the appropriate sanctions.