Rohingya Crisis

UN, ASEAN should work together

Diplomatic Correspondent | Published: 01:52, Jul 01,2020


The UN and ASEAN should work together on establishing a civilian oversight mechanism in Rakhine of Myanmar to address the root causes of the Rohingya crisis as well as building confidence among the members of the community to go back home, local and foreign experts said in Dhaka on Monday.

They were speaking in an online discussion on Rohingya people and the role of the UN and ASEAN entitled Rohingya Today organised by Centre for Peace Studies of South Asian Institute of Policy and Governance at North South University

Mia Seppo, UN resident coordinator in Bangladesh, said that the UN and ASEAN could work together to create political space for engagements with Myanmar for addressing the root causes of the Rohingya crisis with establishing a civilian oversight mechanism in Rikhine State and mitigating risks of further armed conflicts.

Pointing at the engagements of several countries with Myanmar, she stressed the need that cooperation with Myanmar armed forces should not contribute to the armed conflicts.

Former foreign secretary Shahidul Haque said that the UN has to reinvent itself for doing something good for the people, for which it was created, including Rohingya community by not letting humanitarian issues affected by the UN Security Council veto power.

Haque, now a senior fellow at the North South University, political accountability at the UNSC on Rohingya issues should complement judicial accountability at the ICJ and ICC.

The international community in general, the members of the UNSC in particular, should unite to ensure both political and judicial accountability of Myanmar, he added.

Stressing the need for building confidence among Rohingya people, UNHCR country chief Steven Corliss said the basic condition should be created in Rakhine State with a pathway to Myanmar citizenship for resettlement of Rohingya people with their language, culture and identity.

The UN officials said that recurring and intensified conflicts in Rakhine and other states demonstrate that no qualitative changes were brought by Myanmar for creating an environment conducive for Rohingya return. 

Bulbul Siddiqi, an associate professor at North South University, moderated the discussion which was also addressed, among others, by Israt Zakia Sultana, assistant professor at North South University.  

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