Statement by H.E. Mr. Masud Bin Momen, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the UN at the General Debate of the 74th Session UNGA on agenda item: 65 Report of the Human Rights Council
01 November 2019, GA Hall, UNHQ, New York
Bangladesh welcomes the President of the Human Rights Council to New York in connection with his report presentation to the General Assembly.
Bangladesh considers the Human Rights Council as an apex, custodian body in the UN’s human rights mechanism. As a current member, Bangladesh remains actively engaged with the Council and provides support from within. We take due note of its work during the reporting period.
Last year international community observed the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and renewed its collective commitment to uphold and reflect on the UDHR. As the principal mechanism for implementation of UDHR and also in view of the onerous burden of promoting and protecting human rights, we recognize the need to strengthen the Council’s sustained efforts to address issues of emerging concern. Efforts should also be made to bring coherence in the work of the Council in Geneva and its facilitation here in New York. To this end, we urge all member states of General Assembly to give due regard to the work and language agreed by Human Rights Council.
We thank the HRC member states in adopting a strong resolution on the situation of human rights in Myanmar on 26 September 2019. We have always maintained that the possibility for repatriation of the Rohingya to their place of origin in Myanmar can be realized only in an environment that restores their safety, security, dignity, human rights and fundamental freedoms. We see the Human Rights Council’s engagement to be an effort to safeguard the interest of the Rohingya and other minorities in Myanmar from the systematic human rights violations they had been subjected to so far. The outright rejection of the Council’s overtures to Myanmar can be construed by those affected as a continued denial of the concerned State of their human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Bangladesh deeply values the work of various special rapporteurs and related mandate holders and mechanisms in upholding human rights and will continue to work closely with them. In the last one year, we have been fully cooperating with the Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Myanmar and the UN Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar to enable them fulfill their respective mandates as the Rohingya humanitarian crisis crossed into third year. We laud them for the good work they have been doing despite non-cooperation from Myanmar. In the interest of objectivity, it is critical that Member States engage with the mandate holders, and not with the individuals embodying the mandate at any given time. This would go a long way in ensuring accountability for the atrocities unleashed. Accountability is not only a matter of moral obligation for the international community but also a critical enabler for a resolution of the Rohingya crisis.
Bangladesh deeply regrets that the Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Myanmar, who is coming to the end of her term, is still denied access to Myanmar. The Fact-Finding Mission was not allowed access either to report on the ground situation. This is really unfortunate.
Since General Assembly created a new mandate for the Secretary General’s Special Envoy on Myanmar, Bangladesh is similarly cooperating with her office. We are encouraged to see that she has managed limited access in Myanmar and look forward to her more firm, engaging and collaborative efforts to implement her mandate.
Bangladesh remains steadfast in its commitment to promote and protect human rights and continues to strive to realize it at the national level. Our strong national institutions and astute political leadership are providing full support for ensuring human rights. Our independent Judiciary and independent National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) remain alert to address any human rights issue. The parliament as and when required reviews and updates national acts and laws in order to bring them in line with the international human rights law and obligations. We are also regularly fulfilling our reporting obligations to various UN human rights mechanisms.
Under the guidance of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, we will remain engaged with the international community to promote and protect all human rights and fundamental freedom worldwide.
I thank you, Mr. President.