Justice is a must to create confidence, incentivize repatriation, says envoy Masud
The UN Security Council has to come up with a sustainable solution to the Rohingya crisis, ensuring the voluntary, safe and dignified return of Rohingyas to their place of origin, and perpetrators are brought to justice, said Ambassador and permanent representative of Bangladesh to the UN Masud Bin Momen
He made the comments during an open debate on sexual violence in conflict, organized by the UN Security Council at the UN headquarters in New York, reports UNB.
The ambassador said: “The world is practicing a culture of impunity for the sexual violence in Myanmar, and justice will never be served if this does not end.
“Accountability and justice can create confidence and incentivize repatriation, which does not seem to be happening,” he added.
Masud questioned the council on the willingness of Rohingya women and girls, who were subject to unspeakable sexual violence, to return to Myanmar, if not guaranteed a safe and secure habitat.
Recalling the horrific experience of Bangladesh's Liberation War, when Bangladeshi women had suffered sexual violence and abuse as a tactic, he said the same is happening in the Rohingya humanitarian crisis.
“According to Save the Children, 4,000 Rohingya war babies were born in 2018. The international community needs to ensure recognition, compensation, and a better future for them in their country of origin,” Masud added.
In line with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's “zero tolerance” policy for sexual exploitation and abuse, Bangladeshi police has undergone pre-deployment training and is well aware of the situation, he further said.
The ambassador added: “Our Supreme Court has implemented guidelines by establishing women-only committees in workplaces, to hear complaints against discrimination and sexual violence. Our authorities are going ahead with the National Plan of Action on women, peace and security with the help of UN Women.”
Ambassador Masud also highlighted Bangladesh's initiatives to prevent sexual violence by strengthening national laws and investigation mechanisms, providing protection to victims, ensuring victims' rights for sexual and reproductive healthcare, reparation, and capacity building at the local and national levels.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict Pramila Patten. Nobel Peace Prize Laureates in 2018 Dr Denis Mukwege Mukengere and Nadia Murad, and Barrister Amal Clooney also spoke at the open debate.
The event was convened by Germany, the President of the Security Council for the month of April.