First time UN Security Council took a decision for ‘Rohingya problem’
Noman Sabit: The United Nations Security Council adopted its first-ever resolution on the ‘situation in Myanmar’ placing an important focus on the Rohingya crisis and its sustainable solution on Wednesday (December 21). Referring to the ongoing political unrest in Myanmar, continuous deterioration of its democratic institutions and arbitrary detention of political leaders, the resolution, among others, urges for ending violence and inclusive political dialogue. As the penholder of the Myanmar situation in the Security Council the United Kingdom tabled the resolution which was adopted by12 votes in favor. While no members of the Council voted against or used veto power to block its adoption, China, Russia and India abstained from voting.
In the context of multifaceted global challenges including the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the resolution is a demonstration of the UN’s supreme body’s determination towards resolving the ongoing crisis in Myanmar. This resolution will further renew the attention of the global community towards the Rohingya crisis.
Since the exodus of Rohingyas in Bangladesh in 2017, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina made the position of Bangladesh clear to the international community that they must return to their homeland in Myanmar from their temporary shelter in Bangladesh. It may be mentioned that Bangladesh is now hosting more than 1.2 million Rohingyas out of humanitarian consideration.
The resolution commends Bangladesh’s efforts for hosting and providing humanitarian support to the Rohingyas in Bangladesh. It also recognizes the implications of the current political situation in Myanmar on the voluntary, safe, dignified and sustainable return of the Rohingya to Myanmar and on regional security. It underscores the need to address the root causes of the crisis in Rakhine State, and to create conditions necessary for the voluntary, safe, dignified and sustainable return of Rohingya refugees. The resolution also puts significant focus on ASEAN’s role in implementing its Five Point Consensus agreed in 2021. As an immediate action, the resolution requests the UN Secretary-General and his Special Envoy on Myanmar to submit a report, on the possible support from the UN on the implementation of ASEAN’s Five Point Consensus, by 15 March 2023 to the Security Council. The adoption of the resolution will serve as a first step to the regular discussion of the Security Council on Myanmar. It will also strengthen Bangladesh’s ongoing efforts towards a sustainable solution to the Rohingya crisis.
The Bangladesh Permanent Mission in New York made significant contributions to the negotiations of the resolution. Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations in New York, Muhammad Abdul Muhith held several bilateral meetings with the strategically important members of the Council and ensured that issues specific to Bangladesh’s interest were included in the resolution. This resolution bears testimony of Bangladesh’s milestone success in multilateral efforts to resolve the Rohingya crisis.