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Momen seeks Commonwealth's help to expedite Rohingya repatriation

  • Published at 06:02 pm September 17th, 2021
File photo of Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen BSS

UK Commonwealth Minister Lord Ahmad praises Bangladesh's humanitarian leadership in sheltering the Rohingyas

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abul Momen has called upon the Commonwealth members including its chair-in-office, the UK, to engage with Myanmar for its compliance with “provisional measures” by the ICJ and expedite the return of the Rohingyas to their ancestral homes in Myanmar.

"Bangladesh would like to categorically reiterate that the earliest repatriation of all forcibly displaced Rohingyas back to their ancestral homeland in Rakhine in safety and dignity remains our compelling priority," he said.

The foreign minister was addressing the 21st Commonwealth Foreign Affairs Ministers’ Meeting held virtually in London on Thursday, chaired by the UK's newly appointed Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office Elizabeth Truss, a press release issued by Bangladesh’s London mission said on Friday.

Dr Momen also called upon Myanmar to comply with the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) provisional measures and ensure sustainable return of the Rohingyas.

British Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss highlighted the Commonwealth's agenda on Rohingyas under country situation Bangladesh, while the UK’s Commonwealth Minister Lord Ahmad praised Bangladesh's humanitarian leadership in sheltering the Rohingyas and reaffirmed the UK's continued diplomatic efforts for safe and sustainable return of the Rohingyas to Myanmar. 

Also Read - FM to UN: Bangladesh ready to work with Myanmar, others for durable solution to Rohingya crisis

On the question of Covid-19 vaccines, Dr Momen reiterated Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's call for vaccines to be delivered as global public goods without discrimination and disparity and urged Commonwealth ministers to raise collective voices for early and equitable distribution of vaccines under the Covax facility.

Lauding Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's global climate leadership, the foreign minister thanked the Commonwealth for recognizing the 48-member Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) for the first time and proposed shared climate prosperity projects between the CVF and the Commonwealth under the Climate Finance Action Hub.

The foreign minister also informed the meeting that as the lead country for the Commonwealth Business-to-Business Connectivity Cluster, Bangladesh hosted the first virtual High-level B2B Connectivity Dialogue last year, promoting a tech-driven low-carbon business recovery model and a Commonwealth digital marketplace. Bangladesh High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and Governor of the Commonwealth Board of Governors Saida Muna Tasneem participated in the meeting and presented the report on the Commonwealth Ministerial Group on Guyana meeting chaired by Bangladesh foreign minister last Tuesday.