UNGA Motion on Myanmar: Dhaka keeps off vote as it skirts reality
Bangladesh has abstained from voting a UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution that failed to adequately reflect on the Rohingya crisis and their repatriation from Bangladesh.
It also expressed deep disappointment at the resolution on the "Situation in Myanmar" that was adopted by the UNGA on Friday with 119 votes in favour, one against and 36 abstentions, said Bangladesh's Permanent Mission to the UN in New York in a statement yesterday.
At the UNGA, Bangladesh Ambassador to the UN Rabab Fatima said, "We share borders with Myanmar; we host over a million of their people. Therefore, stability in Myanmar is critically important for us in finding a durable solution for the million Rohingya we host, who are victims of atrocity crimes."
The Rohingyas fled the military crackdown in Myanmar's Rakhine State in 2017 to Bangladesh and despite several attempts, they did not volunteer to return saying the situation in Myanmar was not conducive and they had no guarantee of safety and citizenship.
A core group of member states including the US, EU, UK, and Canada initiated the resolution and finalised it in consultation with ASEAN members.
It focused on the current democratic crisis in the country, including the declaration of emergency, and detention of its political leader, calling for a restoration of democracy, and recognising the central role of ASEAN.
Rabab Fatima said as a democratic country, Bangladesh deeply cares about the restoration of constitutional order in Myanmar, but any resolution on Myanmar, whatever may be the context, would remain incomplete if it doesn't recognize the root causes of the Rohingya crisis and make concrete recommendations to address them.
"Failure of the international community to address those root causes, even after the ethnic cleansing in 2017, has led to a culture of impunity in Myanmar, and we can see that playing out now for other minorities as well."
Rabab Fatima said the resolution fails to recognise in its operative part, the urgent need for creating conditions for the safe, voluntary and sustainable return of the displaced minorities of Myanmar, particularly the Rohingyas.
"As such fundamental issues were not included in the resolution; therefore, Bangladesh decided to abstain."
Some key OIC members, including some ASEAN and SAARC members, also abstained. Rabab Fatima, in her explanation of the vote, said the resolution fell short of expectations and would be sending a wrong message.
"The failure of the international community in addressing the crisis creates a sense of impunity in Myanmar."
Moreover, the recent comments of the Myanmar military leader in public media rule out the possibilities of any policy reforms that are fundamental for the safe and sustainable return of the Rohingyas.
"In this situation, it was all the more important for this resolution to stress the need for creating a conducive environment for the return of the Rohingyas."