New York, 15 June 2021: “We have always called for international community’s active role in resolving the political aspects of the Rohingya problem; address the root causes and most importantly fulfil their fundamental right to return to their homes in safety, security and dignity” said the Foreign Minister of Bangladesh at a high-level virtual discussion today organized by Bangladesh Permanent Mission to the UN in New York.
The event entitled “The current situation in Myanmar: implications for Rohingya Minority” was cosponsored by the Permanent Missions of Canada, Saudi Arabia and Turkey and the Global Centre for Responsibility to Protect. The Foreign Minister presented the keynote speech while the President of the General Assembly joined him to share experience from his recent visit to Cox’s Bazaar.
The Permanent Representative of Bangladesh Ambassador Rabab Fatima opened the discussion with her welcome remarks, while the high-level panel included the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar Mr. Tom Andrews, the Special Advisor of Secretary General on Prevention of Genocide Mr. Alice W Nderitu, the Permanent Representatives of Canada, and Turkey and Rohingya activist Ms. Wai Wai Nu. The executive Director of GCR2P Dr. Simon Adams moderated the panel discussion.
In his keynote presentation, the Foreign Minister recalled the bold decision and humanitarian gesture of Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to provide shelter to the over a million Rohingya, as they fled atrocities in Myanmar, and the efforts of the government to ensure the wellbeing of Rohingya despite severe resources and space constraints.
Referring to the newly established accommodation facility for the Rohingya in Bhashan Char, the Foreign Minister said that after thorough assessment the UN and the development partners have expressed satisfaction with the arrangements in Bhashan Char and are now considering to open their operations in Bhashan Char.
The Foreign Minister also recalled the efforts of the international community including the General Assembly and the Human Rights Council in keeping the issue of Rohingya alive; while the efforts of Security Council have always fallen short of concrete actions. He expressed hope that the Council would fulfill its Charter obligations and take urgent measures to resolve the crisis in Myanmar so that the Rohingya people can return to their homes in safety, security and dignity. He also urged the regional countries and other stakeholders in playing their due role.
The panelists commended the government of Bangladesh profoundly for its remarkable humanitarian gesture and expressed their support in resolving the Rohingya crisis in a sustainable manner. They all recognized the need to address the root causes of Rohingya crisis which lie in Myanmar, and support the ongoing accountability processes to ensure justice to the victims of human rights violations in Myanmar.
The event was held virtually and was attended by a large number of attendees from member States, civil society, academia and other stakeholders.
In the afternoon, the Foreign Minister A. K Abdul Momen met with the President of the United Nations General Assembly (PGA) Vulkan Bozkir. Among other issues, they discussed the Rohingya crisis, climate change and the Covid-19 vaccine. Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister thanked PGA for convening the upcoming plenary session on Myanmar in the General Assembly. Referring to the Covid-19 vaccine as a global public good, the Foreign Minister requested Mr. Bozkir to use his good office for ensuring vaccines for all. Foreign Minister also invited the President of GA to attend the World Peace Conference to be held in Dhaka. Mr. Vulkan Bozkir thanked the government of Bangladesh for its humanitarian role on Rohingya issue. He also thanked Bangladesh for cooperating with his office on various issues related to the United Nations.
Later in the day, the Foreign Minister met with Ms. Fekitamoeloa Katoa `Utoikamanu, High-Representative and Under-Secretary-General of OHRLLS. They discussed, among other things, the issue of sustainable and irreversible graduation of LDCs. As the co-chair of the preparatory committee of the LDC-5 Conference to be held in Doha, Qatar in January 2022, Foreign Minister reaffirmed Bangladesh’s commitment to work with all the partners for a bold and ambitious outcome.