United Nations Resident Coordinator to Bangladesh Mia Seppo has reiterated the UN call insisting Myanmar on creating conditions for the safe return of the Rohingyas to their homeland from Bangladesh.
"For the solutions to the problems, first and foremost the Myanmar authority will have to create conditions for the Rohingya population to return home with safety and same rights which any other citizen of Myanmar is entitled to," she told the inaugural session of a two-day national conference at the Dhaka University Senate Bhaban on Wednesday in Dhaka.
She said: "The international community also has the responsibility to protect the Rohingya population from the risks of further atrocity crimes."
Dhaka University International Relations Department is hosting the conference.
DU Vice-Chancellor Professor Md Akhtaruzzaman addressed the inaugural session as the chief guest. International Relations Professor Imtiaz Ahmed presented a keynote paper while DU Center for Genocide Studies Director Professor Delwar Hossain, Social Sciences Faculty Dean Professor Sadeka Halim and International Relations Department Chairman Professor Ehsanul Haque were present, among others.
In his keynote speech, Imtiaz Ahmed suggested the government of Bangladesh to call a conference of the countries sheltering the Rohingyas including India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and several other Middle Eastern countries, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Japan.
"We need to think of two levels of conferences. One conference would be to bring those countries where Rohingyas have taken refuge. And the second level of conference should be an international conference within or outside UN to settle the matter," he suggested.
Imtiaz, also a former director at Centre for Genocide Studies at Dhaka Univeristy, underlined five challenges to resolve the Rohingya crisis which includes crafting regional consent and ensuring international responsibility.
"This is the best time to put into practice the well-known doctrine of Bangladesh foreign policy: 'Friendship to all and malice towards none'. The policy ought to be engaging with the non-conformists than the conformists," he said, adding some beginnings have been made through the Prime Minister's visit to Asean (Association of South East Asian Nations) countries, including Cambodia and Singapore.
The international relations expert suggested taking the issue to the United Nations General Assembly for establishing the 'special documentation centre' so that international legal instruments on genocide or ethnic cleansing or crime against humanity could be activated and the perpetrators brought before an international tribunal.
Imtiaz underscored the need for activating Muslim majority countries within Asean and the Middle East countries in resolving the Rohingya crisis. "Bangladesh needs to take a leadership role, not only because it has placed itself on high moral ground by letting the Rohingyas in but also because it has the support, albeit with few exceptions, practically of the world," he observed.
"The Rohingya crisis is an issue of norms and values, rules and regulations, decency and civility and indeed an issue of being human; how to ensure justice to a population that has lost everything even to dream and live a life with dignity.
Around 700,000 Rohingyas have entered Bangladesh fleeing the violence which erupted in Myanmar on August 25, 2017.