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‘Global community must work meaningfully over safe return of Rohingyas’

  • Published at 11:33 pm March 3rd, 2020
M Shahriar Alam
File photo of State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar AlamCourtesy

Progress towards Rohingya repatriation still deserves due attention, Shahriar Alam says

State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam has said the international community, including the UN agencies, must work meaningfully and vigorously and engage with the government of Myanmar to create an environment that would be conducive to voluntary, safe, dignified and sustainable return of Rohingyas. 

He made the remarks at the launch of the 2020 Joint Response Plan for Rohingya Humanitarian Crisis, organized by UNHCR, IOM and OCHA in Geneva on Tuesday, reports UNB.

The Joint Response Plan is the UN's effort to engage the international community to meet up the mammoth humanitarian needs for the Rohingya temporarily residing in Bangladesh for 2020, estimated cost of which is around US $877 million. 

While delivering statement from the floor, three countries immediately pledged to contribute to JRP 59 million US Dollar by USA, 22 million Euro by the European Union and 65 million Swedish Krona in Sweden.

Providing an overview of efforts by Bangladesh Government for ensuring unhindered humanitarian assistance to the Rohingya, the state minister thanked the international community for their continued support for the consecutive Joint Response Plans since 2017. 

Besides, he underscored that the only durable solution of the prolonged crisis is the safe and voluntary repatriation of the Rohingya to their places of origin.

He said Myanmar authorities have an obligation to create a conducive environment in Rakhine state for repatriation and the international community including the UN has a responsibility to play a role in this regard. 

However, he said, the progress toward repatriation still deserves due attention. 

The state minister apprised the audience of the Bangladesh policy to allow education for Rohingya children in Myanmar curriculum and language to get them prepared for their eventual reintegration into Myanmar society and urged on the international community to actively engage Myanmar to reap the essence of the initiative.

The state minister called upon the international community to put pressure on Myanmar for creating conducive conditions in Rakhine for voluntary, safe and dignified return of the Rohingyas.

DG, IOM António Vitorino, Executive Director, BRAC Bangladesh Asif Saleh, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi and UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh Mia Seppo also addressed the occasion.

Ambassador M Shameem Ahsan, Bangladesh's permanent representative to the UN Office in Geneva, and Samia Anjum, DG, United Nations Wing, Ministry of Foreign Affairs were present as the members of the Bangladesh delegation at the launching event.

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