Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen has said serious consideration should be given now to take regional or multilateral initiatives for the repatriation of Rohingyas to Myanmar as it remains a compelling priority for Bangladesh.
"Canada, with its global stature and standing on human rights issues, may consider taking a leading role in such initiatives. Bangladesh always stands ready to work with Canada and other partners in this direction," he said.
Momen was addressing a webinar, "Evolving Rohingya Crisis and International Response: Canada's Future Role in Repatriation and Accountability Initiatives", held on Tuesday night.
The minister said the Rohingyas are also desperate to return home with safety and dignity at the earliest.
"It's our collective responsibility to help these distressed people materialise their dreams and aspirations. Only through our concerted efforts, sustained repatriation can become a reality."
Bangabandhu Centre for Bangladesh Studies in Canada (BCBS) in cooperation with Conflict and Resilience Research Institute Canada (CRRIC) organised its first webinar on Rohingya crisis resolution.
Bangladesh High Commissioner to Canada Khalilur Rahman, Senator Marilou McPhedran CM, Heather McPherson, Brad Redekopp, Prof John Packer and Neuberger-Jesin, professor of International Conflict Resolution, also spoke at the programme, moderated by Kawser Ahmed, executive director of CRRIC.
The speakers said the Rohingya crisis might turn into a broader regional and global security issue if not resolved sooner.
They said Canada must step up with pragmatic "actions" and genuine "willingness" regarding continuing humanitarian assistance, imposing effective economic sanctions, stopping investing in Myanmar, and supporting the ICJ case.
A call for urgent multilateral action would enable like-minded actors to intervene in actualising safe and dignified repatriation of Rohingyas to Rakhine, the speakers added.
There is a need to explore the possibility of the "Aceh model", which would guarantee the rights of minorities in Myanmar under a viable confederation within Myanmar, they observed.
The speakers said there is also a need to address the educational needs of thousands of Rohingya children, who are growing up in the camps, as they might end up being the "lost generation".