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UN resolution on Myanmar leaves Bangladesh disappointed

20 Jun 2021 00:19:15 | Update: 20 Jun 2021 00:19:15
UN resolution on Myanmar leaves Bangladesh disappointed
AFP File Photo

Bangladesh has expressed “deep disappointment” over the new resolution on Myanmar at the United Nations General Assembly as “it has failed to recommend actions” on repatriation of the Rohingyas and adequately reflect on the crisis.

“The resolution that was adopted falls far short of our expectations,” said Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the UN Ambassador Rabab Fatima after adoption of the resolution on the “Situation in Myanmar” at the 75th session of the UNGA.

In an explanation of vote by Bangladesh, she said the resolution failed to recognize in its operative part, the urgent need for creating conditions for the safe, voluntary and sustainable return of the displaced minorities of Myanmar, particularly the Rohingyas.

The Ambassador said the resolution adopted on Friday on the “Situation in Myanmar” was of utmost significance to Bangladesh.

The resolution was adopted by the UN General Assembly with 119 votes in favour, 01 against and 36 abstentions, focusing on the current democratic crisis in the country, including the declaration of emergency, and detention of its political leader, calling for restoration of democracy, while recognizing the central role of ASEAN.

“We share borders with Myanmar; we host over a million of their people. Therefore, stability in Myanmar is critically important for us in finding a durable solution for the million Rohingya we host, who are victims of atrocity crimes,” she said.

The Ambassador said they acknowledge the efforts of the member states who had been involved in the negotiations.

“We thank those who reached out to us, and consulted us. However, we do not see our fundamental priorities adequately reflected in the resolution, especially in the operative part. Therefore, despite being one of the most affected countries, we decided to abstain from this resolution,” she said.

The resolution was initiated by a core group of member States including the US, EU, UK, and Canada among others.

The core group finalized the resolution in consultation with ASEAN members, who recently held a Leaders” Meeting in Jakarta, which was also attended by the Myanmar military leader.

The GA resolution welcomes the five-point consensus reached at the Leader”s Summit and calls for its swift implementation.

However, the resolution did not include any recommendations or actions on the issue of repatriation of the Rohingys  to Myanmar. Neither does it recognize or stress the need for creating a conducive environment in Rakhine for the safe, sustainable and dignified return.

The resolution also lacks determination to address root causes of the Rohingya crisis through collective means.

As such fundamental issues were not included in the resolution; therefore Bangladesh decided to abstain.

Some key OIC members, including some ASEAN and SAARC members also abstained.

A large number of countries spoke after the adoption of the resolution, and they all commended Bangladesh’s tremendous sacrifice and contribution in hosting the Rohingyas.

The Bangladesh Ambassador in her explanation of vote said it would be sending a wrong message.

She said that the failure of the international community in addressing the crisis creates a sense of impunity in Myanmar.

The GA resolution, which has been initiated under the agenda item “prevention of armed conflict”, is separate from the annual 3rd committee “resolution on the situation of human rights of the Rohingya Muslims and other minorities in Myanmar”.

The 3rd committee resolution on the Rohingya Muslims is spearheaded by Bangladesh along with the OIC and the EU.

It is usually tabled in October during the annual session of the UN General Assembly, and enjoys strong support of the wider membership of the UN.