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UN adopts resolution on HR situation in Myanmar

  • Published at 05:12 am November 17th, 2018
Rohingya Refugees
Rohingyas crossing over to Bangladesh after Rohingya insurgent attacks on Myanmar security forces in August 2017 triggered a sweeping military crackdown Mahmud Hossain Opu /Dhaka Tribune

The resolution reaffirms that the Rohingya must be allowed, on their own accord, to return to their homes or any place of choice in Myanmar

The third committee of the UN General Assembly in New York has adopted are solution on the situation of human rights in Myanmar.

A total of 142 countries voted in favour of the resolution and 10 countries stood against it, reports UNB.

Some 26 countries refrained from casting votes on the resolution brought jointly by the European Union and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Friday.

According to the report, Bangladesh and Austria placed the resolution on behalf of the OIC and EU respectively.

A total of 103 countries, including the USA, Canada, Austria and Mexico co-sponsored the resolution.

The press wing of the Permanent Mission of Bangladesh to UN on Saturday said the international community hopes that the resolution will play a significant role in ensuring the sustainable rehabilitation of the Rohingya.

Bangladesh Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Masud Bin Momen said the resolution makes several references to Bangladesh as the host country for the forcibly displaced Rohingyas.

In its capacity as the Chair of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers, Bangladesh submitted the draft resolution on behalf of the group and co-sponsored it.

Ambassador Momen said the resolution is yet another affirmation of the international community's solidarity with the Rohingya.

He said the resolution reaffirms that the Rohingya must be allowed, on their own accord, to return to their homes or any place of choice in Myanmar.

Since August 2017, Bangladesh has urged the international community to stand by it as the country engaged in renewed efforts to resolve the crisis through dialogue with Myanmar.

On November 15, Myanmar and Bangladesh had agreed to commence voluntary repatriation of individuals and families verified by Myanmar as Rakhine State residents.

It appeared, however, that the Rohingyas themselves were not sufficiently convinced by the words of assurance, as not a single one of them came forward to avail the option to return.

They have instead made their voices heard seeking guarantees for a pathway to citizenship, entitlement to land and compensation, protection from violence and reprisal, and dispensation of justice in Myanmar.

Ambassador Momen said the UN agencies concerned must be allowed access to ascertain the right environment for return.

When did the recent influx begin?

After the military crackdown in Myanmar’s Rakhine state on August 25 last year, more than 700,000 Rohingyas – mostly children and women– crossed over to Bangladesh.

They joined more than 400,000 existing refugees who were already living in squalid, cramped camps in Cox’s Bazar.

Bangladesh and Myanmar formed the Joint Working Group (JWG) on December 2017 to start repatriating Rohingya refugees by January 23.

In May, the JWG’s Myanmar side urged the Bangladeshi side to commence the repatriation of the prior-verified 778 Muslim and 444 Hindu Rohingyas.

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