The United States, France, Britain and six other countries on the United Nations Security Council have called for a meeting on Myanmar that is expected to face opposition from China, diplomats said.
The meeting requested for next week would be to hear a report from UN envoy Christine Schraner Burgener, who last month paid a 12-day visit to Myanmar to discuss the plight of Rohingya refugees.
Around 740,000 Muslim Rohingya are living in camps in Bangladesh after they were driven out of Myanmar’s northern Rakhine state during a military campaign in 2017 that the UN has described as ethnic cleansing.
Myanmar has agreed to take back some of the refugees in a deal reached with Bangladesh, but the UN insists that the safety of the Rohingya be a condition for their return.
Schraner Burgener, a Swiss diplomat, has made four visits to Myanmar since her appointment in April last year, but appears to have returned empty-handed each time.
Belgium, Germany, Poland, Kuwait, Peru and the Dominican Republic joined the three veto-holding powers to push the council to turn its attention to Myanmar.
Diplomats said China was expected to raise objections but it remained unclear whether it would seek to block the meeting with a procedural vote.
Nine votes are required in the 15-member council to hold a meeting and vetoes do not apply.
The Chinese mission at the UN did not respond to a request for comment.
In October, China failed to win enough support at the council to block a report from the head of the UN fact-finding mission in Myanmar.
China, which has close ties with Myanmar’s military, has argued that the Rakhine crisis is linked to poverty and has opposed any step to put pressure on the authorities.