Rohingya Repatriation: Dhaka seeks clear roadmap from UN
Bangladesh is seeking a clear roadmap from the UN on the Rohingya repatriation, Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen told UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy on Myanmar Christine S Burgener in New York Wednesday.
Referring to the negative impacts on Cox's Bazar, particularly on the host community, due to the protracted presence of Rohingyas, Momen said if the repatriation did not start soon, it would only deteriorate the overall situation there and create instability in the region and beyond.
Bangladesh provided shelter to the Rohingyas out of humanitarian consideration. The solution to the Rohingya crisis lies in their safe and sustainable return to Myanmar, but the repatriation couldn't even be commenced in the last four years.
Rohingyas, who fled military crackdown in Rakhine in 2017 and earlier, said the conditions in the Myanmar state were not conducive to their return and that they did not have guarantee of safety and citizenship there. The situation in Myanmar is worsening.
Against such a backdrop, Momen, who is in New York to attend two UN events -- one on the Myanmar crisis and the other on LDC, told Christine S Burgener: "Now the UN needs to provide us with a clear roadmap in this regard [Rohingya repatriation]."
According to a statement from the Bangladesh Permanent Mission to the UN in New York, Momen briefed the special envoy on the Bhasan Char project under which Rohingyas can engage in economic activities and stressed on the engagement of the UN in providing humanitarian assistance there.
He invited the special envoy to visit Bhasan Char when the Covid situation would improve.
Christine S Burgener also briefed Momen on her efforts to reach out to the UN member states, and all other stakeholders within and outside Myanmar with a view to resolving the crisis in Myanmar in a sustainable manner so that the conditions on the ground could be improved and the repatriation could commence soon.
She also expressed her eagerness to visit Bhasan Char.
Wednesday afternoon, the foreign minister had a meeting with the Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix. The minister reiterated Bangladesh's commitment to support and contribute to the peacekeeping operations of the UN.
He thanked the department of Peace Operations for their cooperation in ensuring safety and security of the peacekeepers.
Referring to the pioneering role of Bangladesh in the Women, Peace and Security agenda, he recalled the sacrifices of the peacekeepers and suggested that the DPO promote women's participation by preparing special documentary and other communications materials.
The foreign minister also requested Lacroix to appoint more Bangladeshi military and civilian officers to the senior positions both at the UN headquarters and at the field level.
Lacroix lauded Bangladesh for its contribution to UN peacekeeping for over three decades and expressed hope that the partnership between Bangladesh and the UN in the field of peacekeeping would continue to grow.
He also praised the professionalism, and dedication of Bangladeshi peacekeepers working in the UN peacekeeping missions.