United Nations needs to act to ensure repatriation of Rohingyas to Myanmar


Bangladesh Ambassador Rabab Fatima has urged the United Nations (UN) to scale up its initiatives in Myanmar’s Rakhine State to support the forcibly displaced Rohingyas on their return from Bangladesh. It may be mentioned here that, over 1.20 million Rohingyas have been temporarily sheltered in Bangladesh in 2017 when they fled Myanmar amid genocide committed by the Burmese junta.

Ambassador Rabab Fatima while addressing the UN General Assembly following the briefing by UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy to Myanamr Dr. Noeleen Heyzer in New York, said: “The most durable solution to the Rohingya crisis lies in their safe, sustainable and dignified return to Myanmar”.

She also called upon the Special Envoy to work towards an early implementation of the bilateral return arrangements of the Rohingyas from Bangladesh.

“Five years have passed since the Rohingyas fled home in one of the largest exoduses in recent history. The promise of safe return remains unfulfilled”, the Bangladesh envoy said.

Ambassador Fatima said not a single Rohingya has been able to return home while 1.2 million of them remain in a state of uncertainty in Bangladesh.

“Those remaining in Myanmar are either languishing in IDP camps or under constant threat of forced displacement and insecurity”, said the ambassador.

The ambassador called upon the UN, especially the Security Council, to respond with urgency to the recurrent and protracted Rohingya crisis including by addressing the root causes of the crisis.

Referring to the efforts of Bangladesh in providing food, shelter, education, health care and protection to the Rohingyas, she called upon the international community to focus on creating the right conditions in Myanmar.

“Efforts on our side alone will not bring about any lasting solution to the problem. What needed are actions and programs in Myanmar, to create the conditions conducive for the return of this population, in dignity, to their homes”, she said.

“The repatriation is also the most desired durable solution and the aspiration of the Rohingyas themselves”, she added.

Fatima stressed the importance of ensuring accountability for all violations and abuses in Myanmar and called upon the UN Security Council to monitor compliance of the Provisional Measures issued by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the case initiated by the Gambia on behalf of the OIC.

“My government is doing everything in its power to ensure justice to the Rohingya victims. We are providing full support to the International Criminal Court (ICC), and to the Independent Investigative Mechanism on Myanmar (IIMM) in their efforts”, she said.

Ambassador Fatima urged all nations, especially the regional countries, to provide access and cooperation to all the ongoing accountability mechanisms to ensure justice to the Rohingya Muslims and prevent future recurrence.

She lauded ASEAN for its efforts to find a resolution to the crisis in Myanmar including by early and full implementation of the five-point consensus concluded between the ASEAN and the Myanmar authorities.

Fatima called upon the Special Envoy to continue her engagement with the ASEAN member states, and other countries in the region, in securing a sustained political solution to the protracted Rohingya crisis.

The Special Envoy in her briefing expressed concerns at the current situation in Myanmar, which continues to remain volatile with grave impacts on the civilians including the Rohingya Muslims.

While acknowledging the generosity of the Bangladesh government, she reminded the international community of its responsibility towards the Rohingyas.

She shared her future work plan in Myanmar which represents a multipronged approach involving the peace, development and humanitarian actors and engagements at both vertical and horizontal level.

Following the briefing, the member states delivered remarks, in which they expressed their full support to the efforts of the Special Envoy as well as the complementary role of the ASEAN.

The member states commended the exemplary humanitarian leadership of the Bangladesh government and expressed their commitment to support Dhaka in its efforts to forge a lasting solution to the Rohingya crisis.

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