Statement by Her Excellency Sheikh Hasina Hon’ble Prime Minister of Bangladesh at the High-Level Side Event on Situation of Rohingya Minority in Myanmar Organized by the Permanent Mission of Bangladesh and the OIC Secretariat, United Nations, New York 24 September 2019

Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim

Your Excellency
Mr. Secretary General,
Excellencies, Brothers and Sisters,
As Salamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu

It is regrettable that we are passing yet another year without any solution to the Rohingya crisis. The plight of the Rohingyas – persecuted in the Northern Rakhine state of Myanmar is continuing unabated. According to the UN reports, Rohingyas have been victims of atrocity crimes. Bangladesh has been hosting 1.1 million forcibly deported Myanmar Nationals. We have opened our borders for these people in the spirit of humanitarianism, which is a pervading moral fiber of Islam. We will continue to do everything possible to ensure the basic needs of the Rohingyas pending their return to their homeland. We have allocated over 6800 acres of forest land for sheltering them incurring huge ecological hazard and environmental destruction.


We have extended all kinds of humanitarian assistance including shelter, food, health, water and sanitation. A considerable number of public sector employees were deployed to coordinate management and law and order in the camps. New and additional physical infrastructures including roads and power supply arrangements had to be built on an ongoing basis. 219 medical facilities were set up over time, out of which fifty are being operated by the Government.

In terms of financial assistance, as of now, around USD 120 million has been released from our exchequer for direct assistance to the Rohingya. Among additional measures, by instance, our Ministry of Social Welfare took charge of the 39,841 Rohingya orphans registered so far. Our Hon’ble Prime Minister sanctioned more than USD 2.5 million from her special relief fund in support of the host community.


To address the congestion problem in the camps as well as to facilitate humanitarian services to the displaced Rohingyas, we have been developing “Bhasan Char (Bhasan Island)” with all the provisions to protect the displaced Rohingyas. In Bhasan Char, the Rohingyas will be provided with better housing facility and also livelihood opportunity till they return to Myanmar.

Mr. Secretary General,

I reiterate, the root of the Rohingya problem lies in Myanmar and the solution has to be found in Myanmar. While humanitarian assistance and other supports to the Rohingyas address their immediate needs, it is important to achieve a long term solution in Myanmar to the protracted Rohingya crisis. They must be able to return to their homes where they lived for centuries.


The issue of accountability for human rights violations against the Rohingyas would be another crucial factor to ensure sustainable, safe and voluntary return. Bangladesh is following the ongoing proceedings of the International Criminal Court. We believe that OIC can also play a major role in fulfilling the need to ensure accountability through the Ad-Hoc Ministerial Group on Accountability.

We appreciate the adoption of the Joint Communique of the 14th Islamic Summit Conference of OIC held in Makkah Al-Mukarramah, on 31 May 2019. It urged upon the ad hoc Ministerial Committee led by the Gambia to take immediate measures to launch the case at the International Court of Justice on behalf of the OIC. We believe it is time to act upon the decision expressed in the OIC Summit Joint Communique.

Mr. Secretary General,

In the past, I had offered 5-point proposal to the United Nations during the 72nd UN General Assembly, which included full implementation of recommendations of Kofi Annan Commission, and establishment of a “civilian monitored safe zone” in the Rakhine State. Let me reiterate the following points which I shall be presenting to the UNGA:
1. Myanmar must express clear political will manifested by concrete actions for sustainable return and reintegration of Rohingyas to Myanmar.
2. Myanmar must build trust among the Rohingyas by discarding discriminatory laws and practices and allowing ‘‘go and see” visit to the Northern Rakhine by the Rohingya representatives.
3. Myanmar must guarantee security and safety of the Rohingyas, among others, by deploying civilian monitors from international community in the Rakhine state.
4. International community must ensure that the root causes of Rohingya problem area addressed and atrocity crimes committed against the Rohingyas are accounted for. OIC initiative to take the issue to ICJ is indeed a significant step towards that direction.

Before concluding, I would like to reiterate that the Rohingya crisis is a political one deeply rooted in Myanmar. Thus, its solution has to be found inside Myanmar.
I thank the OIC members for convening this meeting.

I thank you all.