In the News: France Lobbies for Aid to Myanmar

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner criticized the U.N. Security Council for not agreeing to pressure Myanmar into opening its doors to foreign aid. Citing the 2005 U.N. resolution on the "responsibility to protect," which calls for humanitarian intervention in times of armed conflicts, France has been unsuccessful in convincing the council that Myanmar’s military rulers should let aid reach the victims of Cyclone Nargis. China, Russia, South Africa and Vietnam have refused to impose the doctrine because the Myanmar situation does not involve armed conflict. In response, Kouchner cited a 1988 resolution saying that forgoing humanitarian assistance to victims of natural disasters "constitutes a threat to human life and an offence to human dignity." The cyclone, which hit Myanmar two weeks ago, has left more than 134,000 dead or missing.

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