[JURIST] China and Russia Friday vetoed a proposed UN Security Council [UN backgrounder] resolution [text and statements] demanding an end to political repression and human rights violations in Myanmar [JURIST news archive]. The resolution was jointly sponsored by the United States and Great Britain, but was blocked by the other two major powers on the grounds that it was outside the Council's jurisdiction, as they said Myanmar was not a threat to international peace. Acting US ambassador to the UN Alejandro Wolff [official profile] nonetheless characterized Myanmar as a "contemporary [threat] that the council and the international community needs to address before they become imminent...threats to international peace and security."
South Africa also voted against the resolution, with Indonesia, Qatar, and the Republic of Congo abstaining. China and Russia have consistently declined to support Security Council resolutions it perceives as encroachments to exclusive sovereignty in domestic affairs. In November, a UN committee denounced Myanmar [JURIST report] for continued human rights violations. Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, has been ruled by a military junta since 1988, which took power after crushing a democratic movement led by Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi [Nobel profile; BBC profile], who remains a political prisoner under house arrest. AP has more. The UN News Service has additional coverage.