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UNGA resolution on Myanmar leaves out Rohingya crisis  

Published : Tuesday, 21 September, 2021 at 12:00 AM  Count : 497

It is exasperating to follow that over four years have passed but the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), yet could not come up with a realistic and sustainable resolution to influence Myanmar for safe, dignified and voluntary repatriation of Rohingya refugees stranded in Bangladesh. However, once again we express our deep disappointment over the UNGA resolution on Myanmar as it failed to recommend actions on repatriation of the Rohingya refugees.

The latest resolution on the 'Situation in Myanmar' was adopted by the UNGA on Friday with 119 votes in favour, 1 against and 36 abstentions focusing on the current democratic crisis in that country. Bangladesh, a number of OIC countries including some ASEAN and SAARC members also abstained from voting.

The new resolution focused on the prevailing democratic crisis in Myanmar that included declaration of emergency, detention of its political leader, calling for restoration of democracy while recognizing the central role of ASEAN. It reportedly hadn't included any recommendations or actions on the issue of repatriation of the refugees. It is not surprising why Bangladesh had abstained from voting in favour or against the resolution, but it is surprising enough why the five point resolution on Myanmar left out key fundamental and humanitarian issues from it.

In particular what's disturbing is that the new resolution lacks any clear commitment to address the root causes of the crisis through collective means. Thus, it will most likely embolden a 'Sense of Impunity' among the military leadership in Myanmar. In addition, neither does it recognize the need for establishing a favourable environment in Rakhine for safe, sustainable and dignified return of ousted refugees.

We fail to understand why the international community, notably the UNGA, has remained divided over the years on the Rohingya issue. The international community has been providing humanitarian assistance to help Bangladesh cope with the crisis but donor fatigue is setting in resulting in fewer funds. From our end, we mark a clear attempt by the international community to avert and sideline the Rohingya humanitarian crisis.  

The international community should realise that this is not a crisis created by Bangladesh-it is a problem created by Myanmar - dumped unfairly on Bangladesh. Despite previous resolutions from the UN, Myanmar has not budged and continues to ignore the crisis it has created. It has not given any clear indication that it will repatriate the stranded Rohingyas while ensure their safe and dignified return.

As Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has arrived in New York to address the UNGA general debate on September 24, we expect she would once again reiterate the disturbing facts surrounding the plight of the Rohingyas coupled with Myanmar military regime's zero enthusiasm to end the humanitarian crisis in a fair and sustainable manner.

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