The United Nations can help Myanmar to defuse inter-communal tensions and create an environment for safe and dignified repatriation of Rohingya refugees, the Organization’s top political official said Tuesday, stressing that the country could also tap the UN’s capacities and experience in tackling other challenges, including democratic consolidation.
“We hope Myanmar will draw upon the wealth of expertise the UN can offer,” Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman told the Security Council in his briefing on developments in Myanmar.
The estimated number of refugees who entered Bangladesh from Myanmar since 25 August now exceeds 626,000.
He said that the UN is grateful for the continued generosity of the Government and people of Bangladesh, and called on the international community to continue to support these efforts.
“But the origins and solutions to the Rohingya crisis rest in Myanmar. Repatriation and reconciliation policies will fail without accountability and non-discriminatory rule of law and public safety measures to address the fears and distrust among communities in Rakhine,” he emphasized.
To that end, one of the major developments Mr. Feltman highlighted was a bilateral agreement on the issue of returns reached on 23 November between the two countries – a pact that recognizes the need for a comprehensive and durable solution through the safe, dignified, and voluntary return in accordance with international law.
Mr. Feltman said returns must be supported by reconciliation efforts, and central to this is the implementation of the Rakhine Advisory Commission recommendations.
The Advisory Commission, established by Myanmar State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi and led by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, recommends that the Government take concrete steps, such as ending enforced segregation of Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims and ensuring full and unfettered humanitarian access throughout Rakhine state.
To Read More: CLICK