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Dhaka Tribune

PM receives 2 international awards for hosting Rohingyas

She called upon the international community to resolve Rohingya crisis soon

Update : 28 Sep 2018, 01:28 PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has received two international awards – the “Inter Press Service (IPS) International Achievement Award” and the “2018 Special Distinction Award for Leadership” – for her humanitarian and responsible policy in hosting the Rohingyas, and for her leadership on the Rohingya issue, respectively.

The IPS is one of the world's leading news agencies, and the Global Hope Coalition – a network of three not-for-profit foundations based in New York, Zurich, and Hong Kong – honoured her with the two awards on Thursday, reports UNB.

Director General of International Organization for Migration Ambassador (IOM) William Lacy Swing handed Sheikh Hasina the IPS International Achievement Award at a function held at the United Nations Headquarters.

Under-Secretary-General of the UN Office of the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock, and Canadian Minister for International Development Marie-Claude Bibeau spoke at the function. Director-General of IPS International Farhana Haque Rahman delivered the welcoming address.

At a separate function at Park Avenue in New York, Honorary President of the Global Hope Coalition Irina Bokova conferred the 2018 Special Distinction Award for Leadership.

Three other world leaders who also received awards include President of Niger Mahamadou Issoufu, President of Tunisia Beji Caid Essebsi, and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

Speaking at the IPS awards, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina dedicated the award to the people of Bangladesh who have opened their hearts and houses to shelter 1.1 million traumatised forcibly-displaced Myanmar nationals.

Hasina said she believes it is the duty of all responsible nations to show humanity for the distressed and displaced people around the world.

She said it is important that a conducive environment is created in Myanmar to ensure: safety, dignity, options for livelihood, and a re-integration process—for Rohingyas to return to Myanmar.

Hasina said: "The causes of the crisis are rooted in Myanmar. Hence, the solution is also in Myanmar...the international community has a clear obligation to collectively address the source of the problem, in Myanmar, and engage effectively with its government to prevent a further exodus."

"The voluntary return of Rohingyas can only be ensured with collective actions by the international community to ensure the prevention of the repetition of atrocities, and crimes against ethnic and religious minorities in Myanmar—by establishing an international, independent, and impartial mechanism to put accountability into effect.”

Speaking at another awards ceremony, the Prime Minister also dedicated that award to the people of Bangladesh, who supported and opened their houses and shared their food with the Rohingyas at a critical time.

The prime minister said: "I wish the world never had to witness the worst form of violence and atrocities that has been committed against the Rohingyas in Myanmar. It stunned me, as it did the billions of other conscience minds throughout the world."

Hasina said the mass exodus of those persecuted people soon turned out to be the fastest movement of displaced people in the recent history. The recent report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission, as mandated by the Human Rights Council, has documented incidents of “ethnic cleansing” and “genocide”.

"The prolonged presence of the Rohingyas in Bangladesh poses serious challenges to our economy, environment and security. The crucial focus of our emerging nation is being largely diverted for its resolve," the prime minister added.

She further said: “Bangladesh has signed two instruments with Myanmar for repatriation of the Rohingyas. However, the repatriation process is yet to begin.

"I call upon the international community to continue their efforts in creating pressure and resolving the problem at the earliest [possible time]."

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