Representatives for the Arakan Rohingya National Organisation (ARNO) have completed a two-week advocacy tour to the United States and United Nations, to galvanize international action to end the Rohingya genocide and ensure a sustainable, voluntary and protected return home for more than 1 million Rohingya refugees forced from Burma (Myanmar).
ARNO chairman Nurul Islam joined by Dr. Hla Myint, chair of the ARNO Foreign Relations Committee, who is also President of the Rohingya Intellectual Community Australia, and Honourable Philip Ruddock, Australia’s former Attorney General and Human Rights Envoy, on the margins of UN General Assembly week to urge the international community to step-up pressure on Myanmar’s military and civilian government, which were failing to make the necessary headway to implement UN resolutions and recommendations of the international community and world leaders, including the recommendations of the Annan Commission report. Speaking after the visit, Mr. Islam welcomed the support shown by the international community, and advocated greater urgency to ensure credible progress on the ground:
While in Washington DC, the delegation met with the US Commission for International Religious Freedom, members of Congress, the State Department and the Office of the Vice President. At the UN, the delegation met with representatives of the United States, United Kingdom, France, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Saudi Arabia, EU Delegation and the UN Secretary-General’s Special Adviser for the Prevention of Genocide. Throughout their meetings, the ARNO delegation called on the international community to:
- Support credible accountability efforts to ensure victims see justice served, including supporting an Independent International Impartial Mechanism (IIIM) for Myanmar and urging the Security Council to refer the situation to the ICC;
- Strengthen targeted sanctions against the Myanmar military and link trade preferences to conditions on human rights;
- Support efforts to ensure a protected return to a protected homeland, including by establishing an international stabilization force to protect the Rohingya inside Myanmar, in order to facilitate a peaceful repatriation process and stem future violence;
- Vocally support Rohingya’s rights to be recognized as an ethnic minority in Myanmar as well as the restoration of full citizenship;
- Recognize the crimes perpetrated against the Rohingya as genocide and crimes against humanity, as indicated by the UN Fact-Finding Mission for Myanmar.