Solution has to be sustainable, says UN over Rohingya crisis

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Desk Report:

UN Resident Coordinator in Dhaka Mia Seppo on Tuesday said the UN is committed to getting the right for both the Rohingyas and the people of Bangladesh as they deserve the world’s support in confronting problems related to Rohingyas.

“Any solution has to be sustainable. Sustainability is not something that can happen overnight. It takes time and thoughtful consideration for how everything we do today will set the stage for what is possible tomorrow,” she said.

Addressing a book launch programme in the city, the UN Resident Coordinator said Bangladesh has certainly done its part when it comes to the Rohingya crisis, responding with empathy to a group of people who fell victims to hatred, and now the global leadership needs to act.

“Now it’s up to the world to help keep it that way by making sure Bangladesh doesn’t shoulder this burden alone,” she said adding that the Rohingya people deserve their support in healing and finding their own way forward.

The UN Resident Coordinator said the roots of the Rohingya problem go deep and the Rohingya people have suffered decades of cyclical violence and displacement.

Seppo said resolving this situation has to address these root causes for it to be sustainable. “These root causes must be addressed to prevent further human rights violations.”

ActionAid Bangladesh, the Centre for Genocide Studies and the Centre for Peace and Justice jointly organised the book launch event and a policy colloquium titled ‘The Rohingya Refugee Crisis: Towards Sustainable Solutions’ at BRAC Centre Inn to discuss the multidimensional challenges and sustainable solutions.

Secretary (Asia & Pacific) Mahbub Uz Zaman, Director General, NGO Affairs Bureau of the Prime Minister’s Office KM Abdus Salam, UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh Mia Seppo, Director of Centre for Genocide Studies at Dhaka University Prof Imtiaz Ahmed, Canadian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Benoit Prefontaine, Judge of Supreme Court of Bangladesh Justice Dr Syed Refaat Ahmed and Executive Director, Centre for Peace and Justice, BRAC University Manzoor Hasan OBE and Country Director, ActionAid Bangladesh Farah Kabir also spoke.

Despite the challenges, Seppo said, they have the tools at their disposal to resolve this crisis and in difficult times, it is more important than ever to rely upon the established international principles that identify the way forward and roles that they all can play.

She said humanitarian agencies must continue to have the resources and space they need to serve peoples’ most urgent needs.

The UN official said a key role for the international community is the range of tools they can provide to the government’s leadership.

She said different communities need different kinds of support. “We need to be smart in ensuring that how we plan, fund and implement programmes is tailored to the specific problems we are trying to address.”

The UN Resident Coordinator said impunity cannot be acceptable for the serious human rights violations that are alleged to have occurred.

She said the UN has catalysed progress towards accountability and the Independent International Fact Finding Mission on Myanmar found crimes against humanity and war crimes in relation to conflicts in the country.

One of its major findings was that there was genocidal intent against the Rohingya on the part of the alleged perpetrators, with the main responsibility lying with the military, she added.

In a way, Seppo said, the four themes of the book touch upon the broad stages of any refugee response: persecution causes people to flee and become refugees, which triggers the humanitarian response and (hopefully) protection until justice can be achieved.unb

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