The Bangladesh government on Thursday said the United Nations organisations should constructively engage with Myanmar to bring stability in Ralkhine and create an environment conducive to the voluntary return of Rohingya people.
The UN should work with Myanmar ‘more constructively under the framework of the existing tripartite mechanism,’ foreign minister AK Abdul Momen said in a meeting with chiefs of five UN offices in Bangladesh.
The UNHCR, the UNDP and the Government of Myanmar signed a tripartite memorandum of understanding on 6 June 2018 to establish a framework for cooperation to create conducive conditions to the voluntary, safe, dignified and sustainable repatriation of Rohingya people from Bangladesh, as well as for helping to create improved and resilient livelihoods for all communities living in Rakhine State, according to UN officials.
The foreign minister expressed grave concern that there was no progress in repatriation of Rohingyas to Myanmar in the last three years.
The ongoing violence and continued military offensive and resultant instability in the Rakhine province ‘are forcing Myanmar nationals to flee and take perilous journeys by land and sea in search of safety and security,’ he said, adding that, ‘this has broader ramifications on the overall repatriation as Myanmar is failing to create conditions conducive to the safe and sustainable return of the Rohingya population.’
On a different note, Momen feared the negative impact of the pandemic in the RMG sector and expatriate employment — two of the mainstays of Bangladesh’s economy.
He expressed concerns about the returnee migrant workers and sought UN’s assistance for re-skilling, re-employment and for their re-integration.
Momen also emphasised the need to have a coordinated partnership with the UN as ongoing COVID-19 pandemic might impede the progresses in the area of SDG achievements.
The meeting was held at the request of the UN offices in Dhaka and UN resident coordinator Mia Seppo led by the UN delegation.
The UN officials reiterated the UN’s commitment to remain seized with the issue of Rohingya repatriation including by engaging more constructively with Myanmar.
They assured of the UN’s full support for Bangladesh to recover from the socio-economic shocks of the COVID-19.
Bangladesh has been hosting more than 1.1 million Rohingya people for years as two attempts to launch the repatriation on the grounds failed since the signing of agreements with Myanmar over two and a half years ago on sending them to their home in Rakhine. Over 7,00,000 Rohingya people crossed the border to Bangladesh in the last influx that began on August 25, 2017 amid atrocities of the Myanmar military.
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