UN says Rohingya crisis down to 'collective failure' to influence Myanmar

UN chief in Bangladesh Mia Seppo has lamented a “collective failure” of all to influence Myanmar in resolving the ongoing Rohingya crisis.

Senior Correspondentbdnews24.com
Published : 9 Oct 2019, 09:08 AM
Updated : 9 Oct 2019, 09:34 AM

“What I think is to recognise that there is a collective failure to influence Myanmar. That’s not just the UN, it includes many others as well,” the resident coordinator said at the ‘DCAB Talk’ on Wednesday in Dhaka.

The Diplomatic Correspondents Association, Bangladesh (DCAB) organised the event with its President Raheed Ejaz and General Secretary Nurul Islam Hasib on the dais along with the UN chief.

Seppo highlighted almost all aspects of UN’s engagement with Bangladesh, but the Rohingya issue came out prominently in the question answer session.

Bangladesh is currently hosting more than 1.1 million Rohingyas. As many as 750,000 members of the Muslim minority group in Myanmar's Rakhine state fled ‘ethnic cleansing’ in their homeland in August 2017.

Despite attempts to repatriate the refugees, no-one returned to their homeland citing Myanmar's failure to create conditions conducive to their “voluntary, safe and dignified” return.

Seppo said it’s a “challenge the world is grappling with.”

She also highlighted the complexities of the crisis and said “there is no pretense anyone actually would know what the solution is”.

“The solution has to be consisted of many many different actions and parts,” she said, adding that the root causes of this crisis lie in Myanmar, as do their resolution.

She said the UN has been able to maintain a continued focus on the crisis and bring together member states for a conversation on the crisis.

She underscored two aspects that are crucial to resolve the crisis.

“First, no single answer will resolve all questions before us now. The challenges we face together are many, they are complicated, and they are inter-related."

"Of course, a key objective is creating conditions conducive to voluntary repatriation in safety and dignity. Still, regardless of when that happens, we have to continue to address the impacts of this crisis on Bangladeshi host communities and the Rohingya refugees while they are here,” she said.

The second aspect, she said, is the “sustainability” of the solution.

“Ensuring that any solution is sustainable is not a lofty ideal but a concrete requirement for it to work. It takes time and careful consideration of how everything we do today sets the stage for what is possible tomorrow."

“This is true for the UN’s work on both sides of the border. We need to continue to seek ways to improve how we can help improve conditions in Rakhine State even while we do whatever we can to help Rohingya children, women and men – wherever they are – prepare for the rest of their lives.”