NEW YORK, May 10 (KUNA) — Members of the UN Security Council expressed shock at the scale of the humanitarian crisis of the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmars Rakhine State and the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.
From April 28 to May 1, the UNSC members visited Bangladesh and Myanmar as part of efforts to address the crisis since August 25, 2017 and urge implementation of its presidential statement of November 6, 2017, the Council said in a statement on Thursday.
The UNSC members are grateful to the Governments of Bangladesh and Myanmar, as well as the United Nations, for facilitating the visit, the statment said.
They were struck by the scale of the humanitarian crisis and remain gravely concerned by the current situation, according to the statement.
In Bangladesh, the members of the Security Council visited the refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar, where they met Rohingya refugees.
They also met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Minister of State Mohammed Shahriar Alam, acting Foreign Secretary M. Khurshed Alam, Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner Mohammed Abul Kalam, other senior Government officials and representatives of the United Nations country team in Bangladesh.
The UNSC members expressed their deep appreciation to the Government of Bangladesh for its efforts to provide refugees protection and assistance and expressed their determination to continue supporting Bangladesh, and Bangladeshi host communities, especially in preparing for the upcoming monsoon season and in providing refugees with sustainable support.
They reiterated their support to the work being undertaken by the United Nations country team in support of Bangladesh.
In Myanmar, they met State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, Union Minister for the State Counsellor’s Office U Kyaw Tint Swe, Union Minister for Office of the Union Government and National Security Adviser U Thaung Tun and Union Minister for Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement Win Myat Aye, and other senior Government officials, as well as representatives of the UN country team in Myanmar and members of civil society.
They also visited northern Rakhine state and observed the situation in northern Rakhine State, including widespread destruction of villages, as well as reception centres and transit camps under preparation by the Government of Myanmar.
They noted the efforts taken by the Government of Myanmar to prepare for the repatriation of refugees.
They urged the Government of Myanmar to step up its efforts to create conditions conducive to the safe, voluntary and dignified return of Rohingya refugees and internally displaced persons to their homes in Rakhine State and to address the root causes of the crisis through implementation of the Rakhine Advisory Commission recommendations, including those related to human rights, citizenship, poverty alleviation and development.
They welcomed Myanmar’s commitment to work with the United Nations in the press release by the Ministry of the State Counsellor of Myanmar on May 1, 2018, after State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi met with members of the Security Council.
They encourage States able to do so to continue and increase support to the Government of Bangladesh, and Bangladeshi host communities, in hosting the Rohingya refugee community, especially regarding emergency preparedness measures to be taken ahead of the monsoon and cyclone seasons.
They welcome the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding and the Arrangement on the Return of Displaced Persons from Rakhine State between the Governments of Myanmar and Bangladesh, and urge the Government of Myanmar to work with the Government of Bangladesh and the United Nations to allow the voluntary return of all refugees to their homes in Myanmar.
They urge the Government of Myanmar to grant the United Nations agencies and their partners immediate, safe and unhindered access to Rakhine State.