Implement Burma-UN deal on Rohingya crisis: PM Hasina

Implement Burma-UN deal on Rohingya crisis: PM Hasina

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She expects intel community to give due importance to atrocities suffered by Rohingyas
New York, Sept 28 – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has demanded immediate and effective implementation of the agreement signed between Myanmar and the UN on the solution of the ongoing Rohingya crisis, which is causing immense socioeconomic pressure on Bangladesh as some 1.1 million Rohingyas have taken shelter in the country.“We also wish to see an immediate and effective implementation of the agreement concluded between Myanmar and the UN,” she said while delivering her speech in the 73rd UN General Assembly on Thursday.
The Prime Minister delivered her speech in Bangla as in previous years.
Mentioning that the Rohingya crisis has its origin in Myanmar, Sheikh Hasina said its solution also needs to be found there. “We want an early, peaceful solution to the Rohingya crisis,” she said.
She said Bangladesh was appalled by what it has seen in UN reports about atrocities against the Rohingyas who have now taken shelter in Bangladesh, which is tantamount to genocide and crimes against humanity. “We expect the international community, particularly the UN, to give due importance to the atrocities and injustice suffered by the Rohingya population in Myanmar,” she said.
The Prime Minister said as a ‘fellow human’, Bangladesh can neither ignore nor remain silent about the plight of the Rohingya. “I, therefore, presented a five-point proposal at the UN General Assembly last year with a view to finding a durable and peaceful solution to the sufferings of the forcibly displaced and hapless Rohingya. We’re disappointed that despite our earnest efforts, we haven’t been able to begin Rohingya repatriation in a permanent and sustainable manner,” she said.
Mentioned that Myanmar is one of Bangladesh’s neighbours, she said from the outset, it has been trying to find a peaceful solution to the Rohingya crisis through bilateral consultations. “So far, three bilateral arrangements have been concluded between Bangladesh and Myanmar for Rohingya repatriation,” she said, adding that despite their verbal commitment to take back the Rohingya, in reality, the Myanmar authorities are yet to accept them back.
Hasina said the 1.1 million Rohingyas hosted in Bangladesh are living in an uncertain situation. To the best of its ability, Bangladesh has made arrangements for their food, clothing, health care, child-care and security, she said.
She said many countries and organisations, including the UN, the Commonwealth, and the OIC, have shown solidarity with the Rohingyas and extended support and assistance for them.
The Prime Minister said Bangladesh has started working on a new housing facility with all arrangements for their education, health care and other needs so that they are able to live in a good and healthy condition.
She called upon international organisations to join hands with Bangladesh in this initiative.
Mentioning that she could feel the pain and sufferings of countless people around the world, persecuted and expelled from their homes like the Rohingyas, Sheikh Hasina said it is impossible to build peaceful, just and sustainable societies by ignoring such situations.
She said the Myanmar situation repeatedly reminds her of the genocide committed by the Pakistan occupation forces against Bangalees in 1971.
Describing Bangladesh as the major contributor to world peace, the Prime Minister said it expects to see a more robust and human rights-centric Global Compact on Safe, Regular and Orderly Migration.
Talking about terrorism, she said Bangladesh stands firm against terrorism and all organised crimes. “We shall not allow our territory to be used for any terrorist acts against or any activity detrimental to the interest of our neighbours. Our ‘zero tolerance’ policy in countering terrorism will continue undiminished,” she said.
She mentioned that Bangladesh’s ‘whole of society’ approach has served well in preventing violent extremism, human trafficking and flow of illicit drugs.
Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh has commenced its journey from being an LDC to the status of a developing country.
In the backdrop of Bangladesh’s current economic growth, she said, there are now immense and large-scale business opportunities in Bangladesh.
Foreign investors are being offered various financial incentives like tax holiday, avoidance of double taxation and exemption of duties, she said. “We’re setting up 100 Special Economic Zones that would help create 10 million job opportunities in Bangladesh,” she added.
Terming Bangladesh as one of the 10 countries which are most vulnerable to clime change, Sheikh Hasina said its topography coupled with a high density of population has made the country particularly exposed to climate change risks.
She said Bangladesh remains committed to implementing the Paris Agreement and is spending over 1 percent of its GDP in addressing climate change impacts. “We’re also promoting climate-resilient agriculture. Initiatives have been taken to increase tree coverage from 22 percent to 24 percent in the next five years,” she said.
The Prime Minister said Bangladesh has integrated its development programmes and its efforts to build capacity for combating climate change into a mega project titled Delta Plan 2100. “Bangladesh is the only country in the world that has adopted such a long-term development plan spanning 82 years,” she added.
She said Bangladesh was shocked by the continued violation of the rights of the brotherly people of Palestine. “This must come to an end. As the Chair of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers, we shall continue to work with the international community for resolution of the Palestine question.”
Sheikh Hasina said there are three elements that play the most critical part in advancing human civilization — peace, humanity and development. “For the well-being of human societies, we must continue to strive for humanity. Our main objective must be to serve people and ensure their well-being. It is humanity and goodwill that would take us forward on the pathway to sustainable development.”
Noting that Bangladesh once was known to the world as the land plagued by disasters, floods, droughts and hunger, she said it has done wonders in maintaining international peace, managing disasters, empowering women and consolidating development gains. “Bangladesh has now surpassed its neighbours in South Asia on a number of indicators.”
“But, our journey has not reached its end. Our journey will continue till the day we can build a Bangladesh free of hunger, poverty, illiteracy and exploitation – the Sonar Bangladesh as dreamt by our Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman,” she said.

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