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Dhaka Tribune

PM calls on global community to resolve Rohingya crisis from its root

She also placed three proposals at a high-level event on ‘Global Compact on Refugees: A Model for Greater Solidarity and Cooperation' in New York

Update : 24 Sep 2018, 10:20 PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday placed three recommendations, including abolishing discriminatory laws, policies and practices by Myanmar against Rohingyas, to solve the protracted Rohingya crisis from its root.

She placed the recommendations at a high-level event on “Global Compact on Refugees: A Model for Greater Solidarity and Cooperation” held at the United Nations headquarters, with UN Secretary General António Guterres in the chair, reports UNB.

The other recommendations were- Myanmar must create conducive environment by building trust and guaranteeing protection, rights and a pathway to citizenship for all Rohingyas. If needed, create a “safe zone” inside Myanmar to protect all civilians and to prevent atrocious crimes against Rohingyas in Myanmar by bringing accountability and justice, particularly in the light of the recommendations of the Fact-Finding Mission of the UN Human Rights Council.

"In Bangladesh, now we are faced with the largest forced movement of over 1.1 million traumatized Rohingyas in the shortest time. They have been forcibly displaced from their homes in the Rakhine state of Myanmar where they had been living for centuries," she told the audience.

The prime minister went on to say: "While we are providing them with basic necessities, the magnitude of the problem has posed serious challenges for us. We have allocated over 6,000 acres of land."

Assistance of international partners

Hasina, however, said the diversion of human and other resources for Rohingyas has taken a toll on the environment, economy and society.

She mentioned that the international partners, especially the UN agencies, have been helping the Rohingyas.

"Regrettably, the current UN joint response plan of 2018 which requires $950 million has remained severely underfunded with only 33% funding secure. Humanitarian and development support of the international community for the Rohingyas and other affected communities must be predictable and in the spirit of international responsibility sharing," the prime minister said.

Hasina reiterated that the Rohingya crisis has originated in Myanmar and the solution has to be found there. 

Also Read- Rohingya crisis: Myanmar army chief says UN has 'no right to interfere'

"As a responsible government, we have opened our border and provided shelter to the forcibly displaced Rohingyas. By doing so, we have not only saved lives, but also stabilized the entire region by containing the crisis within our borders." 

She said Bangladesh would like to see the Rohingyas returning to the homes in safety, security and dignity.

"Pending their return, we are trying to address their basic needs."

Given the scarcity of land and other socio-cultural and environmental impacts, Hasina said they were going to relocate them to a newly developed island, Bhashan Char, where they will have better living conditions and livelihood opportunities.

In the absence of any policy of local integration in Bangladesh, she said, Rohingyas need to secure their future in their own country, Myanmar.

The prime minister urged international community to help Bangladesh achieve that.

The swelling refugee crisis

Hasina said the 'Compact on Refugees' has been adopted at a time when the world is faced with swelling refugee crisis. Innocent people from various conflict-torn countries are leaving their homes for safety and security while many countries like Bangladesh are giving them shelter, protection and hope.

She mentioned that most of these refugee-hosting countries are developing countries with their own set of challenges. "Yet, they respond to the call of humanity."

The world must recognize their contributions and help these countries shoulder the burden. The world leaders must come forward with political will and commitment, she added.

The premier said the world must not forget that every refugee desires a safe return to his or her homeland. The displaced people from Myanmar have to return to their homes in safety, security and dignity.

"Safe and sustainable return to the country of origin is particularly important to resolve the protracted refugee crisis. Greater attention needs to be paid to remove the root causes that drive people to seek refuge, and the root causes lie in the countries of origin," she said.

The realization of the Compact should exhibit stronger commitment towards addressing these root causes; rather than focusing on a response to an emerging situation only, she said.

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