I thank you for convening this important meeting today. My delegation aligns itself with the statement delivered by the delegation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on behalf of OIC.
In our national capacity allow me to share a few points:
First – We thank the Special Envoy for her briefing today. Indeed, the situation in Myanmar continues to remain volatile. Conflicts and violence have increased manifold, resulting in continued civilian casualties and displacements, often across the borders.
As a country hosting over 1.2 million forcibly displaced Rohingyas from Myanmar this is particularly concerning for us. Six years have passed since the Rohingyas fled home in the face of unprecedented mass atrocities inflicted upon them. Till date, not a single of them has been able to return home, since the conditions haven’t improved and none of the root causes of their persecution have been resolved.
In this circumstance, we call upon the Special Envoy to increase her engagements with all stakeholders, particularly in Myanmar towards achieving a sustainable solution to the Rohingya crisis, which lies in their safe, voluntary and dignified return to Myanmar.
Second: We welcome the adoption by the Security Council its first resolution on Myanmar. We deeply appreciate the leadership of the ASEAN in securing a lasting solution to Myanmar’s ongoing crisis based on its five-point consensus and fully support the initiatives of the ASEAN Chair’s Envoy, the Foreign Minister of Indonesia. We believe the five-point consensus is an important point of reference to address the Rohingya crisis in the long run. We also recognize the value of ASEAN’s humanitarian support in Rakhine, which is critical for preventing remaining Rohingyas from fleeing homes.
We would however like to stress that the efforts of the regional organizations are complementary to the efforts of the UN, not an alternative. As the victims of gross human rights violations and mass atrocity crimes, the Rohingyas deserve attention of the entire global community in meeting their demands for justice and pursuing a future in Myanmar free from persecution and exclusion.
As such, we call upon the Special Envoy to continue taking a multi-pronged approach and remain engaged with all actors including those in the region, with a view to fostering lasting peace in Myanmar, where all communities including the Rohingya minorities are treated equally, with rights and dignity.
Finally, I wish to draw the attention of the Assembly to the humanitarian needs of the Rohingyas while they await return. Bangladesh continues to remain the largest donor spending around 1.69 billion US dollars last year, accounting for expenses incurred in massive humanitarian operations, in ensuring safety and security in and around the camps, restoration of the environment, and mitigation of sufferings of the host community.
We also acknowledge with deep appreciation the contribution of our partners to the humanitarian operations in Cox’s bazar and Bhashan char. However, there has been stress in funding situation. The World Food Programme has recently announced ration cuts. We are also alarmed to learn that only 30% of WFP’s required funds could be met, which might lead to further cuts in the coming days. In addition to that the recent fire incidents in the camps have destroyed many shelters.
In such circumstances, we call upon the international community to provide adequate funding for the Rohingyas especially in meeting their most urgent needs, such as, food and shelter. Bangladesh would also appreciate international community’s support to implement the Myanmar curriculum-based learning projects and the skills development programmes which have been piloted both in Cox’s Bazar and Bhashan Char. It may be noted that 6000 learning centres have been established to implement these projects.
To conclude I wish to reiterate the urgent need for the unity and concerted efforts of the international community to resolve the Rohingya crisis in all its dimensions, in the true spirit of responsibility and burden sharing. And in this regard, we acknowledge with deep appreciation the important mandate and role of the Special Envoy and reiterate our full support to her.
I thank you.