Eastern Times Correspondent, Dhaka, 17 June: Bangladesh has sought a clear roadmap from the United Nations for repatriation of the Rohingyas to Myanmar.
‘We provided shelter to the Rohingyas out of humanitarian consideration. However, the solution to the crisis lies in their safe and sustainable repatriation to Myanmar, which couldn’t even be commenced in the last four years. Now UN needs to provide us with a clear roadmap in this regard,’ said Bangladesh foreign minister AK Abdul Momen.
He made the call at a bilateral meeting with Christine S Burgener, the Special Envoy of the Secretary General on Myanmar at the Bangladesh Permanent Mission in New York on Wednesday.
During the meeting, the Foreign Minister referred to the negative impacts of protracted presence of the Rohingyas in Cox’s Bazar, particularly for the host community, and stated that if repatriation doesn’t commence soon, it would only deteriorate the overall situation there and create instability in the region and beyond.
He briefed the Special Envoy on Bhashan Char project where the Rohingyas can engage in economic activities and stressed the engagement of UN in providing humanitarian assistance there.
Momen invited the Special Envoy to visit Bhashan Char when the Covid situation improves.
The Special envoy briefed the foreign Minister 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 Bhashan char.
Later, the Foreign Minister had a meeting with the Under-Secretary-General (USG) for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix.
He reiterated Bangladesh’s commitment to support and contribute to the peacekeeping operations of UN, which lies in the high ideals of the country’s founding president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Momen 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, especially the women peacekeepers and suggested that the DPO should promote women’s participation by preparing special documentary and other communications materials.
The Foreign Minister also requested USG Lacroix to appoint more Bangladeshi military and civilian officers to the senior positions both at the UN headquarters as well as at the field level.
USG 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 will continue to grow.
He also praised the professionalism, and dedication of Bangladeshi peacekeepers working in UN peacekeeping missions.
The Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the UN, Ambassador Rabab Fatima accompanied the Foreign Minister in both the meetings.