Bangladesh has urged members of the UN Security Council to consider undertaking a visit to the region, including Myanmar, to assess firsthand the humanitarian crisis facing the Rohingya.
Participating in an open debate at the UNSC, Masud Bin Momen, Bangladesh’s Permanent Representative to the UN, urged the 15-member body to consider adopting a resolution on the Rohingya issue and avoid using the veto on this.
He also sought an open meeting of the Security Council on the issue. The last one was held three months ago.
“We deem it appropriate for the Council members to consider undertaking a visit to Myanmar and Bangladesh to reaffirm their support to the hundreds of thousands of refugees and displaced persons in the face of a rather uncertain future still awaiting them,” Momen told the Security Council on Tuesday.
“The Council’s visit on the ground is indeed a useful exercise,” he asserted. “And we would wish to see that the visits are organized in a way to respond to the most urgent conflict and humanitarian situations under its consideration.”
Members of the Security Council often undertake visits to conflict-prone areas of the world. Last month, a delegation of ambassadors from members of the Security Council visited Kabul.
In his remarks, Momen noted that the Security Council has so far found it difficult to adopt a resolution on the Rohingya humanitarian crisis, mostly due to the possibility of the exercise of veto against any such move.
“We do acknowledge the veto as a responsibility and remain mindful of its varied use through the UN’s history with mixed results. We, however, stand increasingly convinced that the exercise of the veto should be avoided in case of dealing with mass atrocity crimes,” he said.
Acknowledging that the Security Council for its part had convened a number of consultations on the Rohingya humanitarian crisis, he said this resulted in the adoption of a fairly comprehensive Presidential Statement (PRST).
Given the unfolding nature of the crisis, it is to be expected that the Council would continue to remain seized of the matter, and would set in process a periodic schedule in monitoring the PRST’s implementation by all parties concerned, he said.
“A regular periodicity in briefing and consultations on such pressing issues would only further enhance the Council’s credibility, and minimize the possibility of reliance on the discretion of one Council member or the other,” he argued.
“In this context, we put on record our appreciation to the Kuwaiti Presidency for remaining seized with the possibility of reconvening an open meeting on the subject since the last one held nearly three months ago,” the top diplomat from Bangladesh said.
Given the gravity of the situation in the region, Momen said it is expected that the Security Council would, in particular, consider decisive action with regard to demanding accountability for healing the trauma suffered by the Rohingya and for restoring their confidence in the possibility of their safe, dignified and voluntary return to Myanmar.
“In this context, as a State Party to the Rome Statute, Bangladesh would particularly stress the importance of addressing the critical question of resources in case of referrals to the International Criminal Court by the Council,” he said.
Nearly 688,000 Rohingya fled to Bangladesh from Myanmar’s Rakhine state since late August last year after the army launched a brutal crackdown targeting the minority following a militant attack on border posts and an army base.
The neighbouring countries have signed an agreement to send the Rohingya back to the Rakhine state. But the repatriation has yet to take place.