Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is going to place four proposals at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) seeking a peaceful and sustainable solution to the Rohingya crisis as it is badly affecting Bangladesh.
She will put forward the proposals during her speech at the 74th UNGA tomorrow.
Hasina will propose that Myanmar must express clear political will manifested by concrete actions for sustainable return and reintegration of Rohingyas to Myanmar, and it must build trust among Rohingyas by discarding discriminatory laws and practices and allowing “go-and-see” visits to Northern Rakhine by Rohingya representatives.
The two other proposals are: Myanmar must guarantee the security and safety of Rohingyas, among others, by deploying civilian monitors from the international community in Rakhine, and the international community must ensure that the root causes of the Rohingya problem are addressed while atrocious crimes committed against Rohingyas are accounted for.
Hasina made the announcement while addressing a high-level side event on Situation of Rohingya Minority in Myanmar at a conference room of the UN headquarters on Tuesday. The programme was jointly organised by the Permanent Mission of Bangladesh to the UN and the OIC secretariat.
At the 72nd UNGA, the PM had placed a 5-point proposal, which included the full implementation of recommendations of the Kofi Annan Commission, and the establishment of a “civilian monitored safe zone” in Rakhine.
The premier on Tuesday said the Rohingya crisis is a political one deeply rooted in Myanmar and thus its solution has to be found inside Myanmar.
She categorically said the Rohingyas must be able to return to their homes where they lived for centuries.
Hasina said it was regrettable that yet another year passed by without any solution to the Rohingya crisis.
According to UN reports, Rohingyas have been victims of atrocity crimes.
She said Bangladesh has been hosting 1.1 million forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals. “We opened our borders for these people in the spirit of humanitarianism, which is a pervading moral fiber of Islam.
“We will continue to do everything possible to ensure the basic needs of the Rohingyas pending their return to their homeland. We have allocated over 6,800 acres of forest land for sheltering them incurring huge ecological hazard and environmental destruction,” the PM said.
Hasina said Bangladesh has extended all kinds of humanitarian assistance, including shelter, food, health, water, and sanitation, to the Rohingyas.
She mentioned that a considerable number of public sector employees were deployed to coordinate management and law and order in the camps. New and additional physical infrastructures had to be built on a regular basis. Some 219 medical facilities were set up, out of which 50 are being operated by the government.
In terms of financial assistance, around $120 million has been released as of now from Bangladesh’s national exchequer for direct assistance to the Rohingya. Among additional measures, by instance, the social welfare ministry took charge of the 39,841 Rohingya orphans registered so far.
Hasina said she has sanctioned more than $2.5 million from her special relief fund in support of the host community.
“To address the congestion problem in the camps as well as to facilitate humanitarian services to the displaced Rohingyas, we have been developing Bhasan Char with all provisions to protect the displaced Rohingyas. In Bhasan Char, the Rohingyas will be provided with better housing facility and also livelihood opportunity until they return to Myanmar.”
The PM said the issue of accountability for human rights violations against Rohingyas would be another crucial factor to ensure sustainable, safe and voluntary return.
“Bangladesh is following the ongoing proceedings of the International Criminal Court. We believe that OIC can also play a major role in fulfilling the need to ensure accountability through the Ad-Hoc Ministerial Group on Accountability,” she said.
Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen delivered the welcome address at the programme, joined by Chairperson of Bangladesh National Advisory Committee for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Saima Wazed Hossain, Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Md Shahab Uddin and State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam.
Briefing reporters after the event, the foreign minister said the participants gave stronger support to Bangladesh on the Rohingya issue.They also want safe, secure and dignified repatriation of the Rohingyas from Bangladesh, Momen said.