Statement by H.E. Ms. Rabab Fatima, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations at the briefing by Special Envoy of the Secretary General on the situation of Myanmar 26 February 2021, 10 am, General Assembly Hall

Mr. President,

I thank you for convening today’s timely meeting and for your statement.

My delegation aligns itself with the statement delivered by the Permanent Representative of Saudi Arabia on behalf of OIC.  Allow me to add a few points in our national capacity as an affected country, to highlight the Rohingya situation:

Let me begin by thanking the Special Envoy for her comprehensive briefing on the current situation in Myanmar. The situation is a matter of serious concern.  As an immediate neighbor, we would like to see peace and stability in Myanmar. We hope that the democratic process and constitutional arrangements will be upheld there.

It is regrettable that the Special Envoy has not been allowed to visit Myanmar to assess the situation on the ground. We ardently hope that Myanmar would engage with the office of the Special Envoy, which was established by the UN General Assembly with overwhelming mandate. We would also like to take this opportunity to request the Special Envoy to utilize every opportunity to keep the member states duly apprised of her current activities and future work plan in Myanmar, as mandated by the GA resolution.

Bangladesh has been hosting over a million Myanmar nationals, the Rohingyas, who fled their homes in the face of atrocities and took shelter in Bangladesh in multiple phases. From humanitarian commitments, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina opened the border and provided them with much needed shelter and protection. However, like any other people, the Rohingyas want to return home. They want a safe and stable future in their own country.

With support from the international community we have been making every effort for their repatriation in a sustainable and dignified manner. We have been working with the Myanmar government as well, under bilateral and other frameworks, to begin the return process.  We expect these processes to resume, and be expedited to achieve a durable solution to this grave human rights and humanitarian crisis.  We count on the continued cooperation and support of the international community in this regard.

Lack of progress in repatriation in the last three years have led to widespread frustration and despair among the Rohingya population in Cox’s Bazar; and one manifestation of that is their perilous journey by sea for a better future. The current developments are not helping the situation. Further delay in repatriation may exacerbate the situation. Peace and prosperity of the region hinges critically on the success in ensuring sustainable return and reintegration of the displaced persons in their places of origin.

We believe that full and effective implementation of the recommendations of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State, including the establishment of a clear pathway to citizenship of the Rohingyas would be crucial to resolve the lingering Rohingya crisis. Equally important would be to ensure accountability and justice for the massive violations of human rights of the Rohingyas.

We earnestly hope that this Assembly would remain engaged in finding a comprehensive resolution to this crisis.

I thank you, Mr. President.