New York, 16 June 2021: “We provided shelter to the Rohingya out of humanitarian consideration; however, the solution to the crisis lies in their safe and sustainable repatriation to Myanmar, which couldn’t even be commenced in last four years. Now the UN needs to provide us with a clear roadmap in this regard.” Said the Foreign Minister Dr. AK Abdul Momen, MP at a bilateral meeting with Christine S. Burgener, the Special Envoy of the Secretary General on Myanmar at the Bangladesh Permanent mission, today.
During the meeting the Foreign Minister referred to the negative impacts of protracted presence of the Rohingya in Cox’s Bazar, particularly for the host community, and stated that if repatriation doesn’t commence soon, it would only deteriorate the overall situation there and create instability in the region and beyond. He briefed the Special Envoy on the Bhashan char project where the Rohingya can engage in economic activities and stressed on the engagement of UN in providing humanitarian assistance there. He invited the Special Envoy to visit Bhashan Char when the covid situation improves.
The Special envoy briefed the foreign Minister on her efforts to reach out to the UN member States, and all other stakeholders within and outside Myanmar with a view to resolving the crisis in Myanmar in a sustainable manner so that the conditions on the ground could be improved and the repatriation could commence soon. She also expressed her eagerness to visit Bhashan char.
Later today, the Foreign Minister had a meeting with the Under-Secretary-General (USG) for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix. Foreign Minister reiterated Bangladesh’s commitment to support and contribute to the peacekeeping operations of the UN, which lies in the high ideals of the father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. He thanked the department of Peace Operations for their cooperation in ensuring safety and security of the peacekeepers. Referring to the pioneering role of Bangladesh in the Women, Peace and Security agenda, he recalled the sacrifices of the peacekeepers, especially the women peacekeepers and suggested that the DPO should promote women’s participation by preparing special documentary and other communications materials. The Foreign Minister also requested USG Lacroix to appoint more Bangladeshi military and civilian officers to the senior positions both at the UN headquarters as well as at the field level.
USG Lacroix lauded Bangladesh for its contribution to UN peacekeeping for over three decades and expressed hope that the partnership between Bangladesh and the UN in the field of peacekeeping will continue to grow. He also praised the professionalism, and dedication of Bangladeshi peacekeepers working in UN peacekeeping missions.
The Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the UN, Ambassador Rabab Fatima accompanied the Foreign Minister in both the meetings.