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21 June, 2019 00:00 00 AM
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persecution on Rohingyas

UN can’t evade liability

Says Foreign Minister Momen
Diplomatic Correspondent, Dhaka

The United Nations (UN) cannot evade the responsibility for the persecution of Rohingyas as the world body had concealed several things before the oppression of the ethnic minority began in Myanmar, foreign minister AK Abdul Momen said yesterday. “The UN has hid many things. They are certainly responsible for it. After the Rohingya persecution, the UN delivered some speeches, but most of its statements were directed towards Bangladesh. Though it worked in Rakhine province in Myanmar, its function is very weak there,” the minister added.

Momen was speaking to the media after coming out of a seminar at the Bangladesh Institute of International Strategic Studies auditorium in Dhaka.

“A kind of hatred and malice was developing against the ethnic group in Myanmar for many years. But the UN was not aware of it,” Momen said.

“We should create a mindset to respect others irrespective of ethnicity, religion and colour in order to reduce conflicts in the world. Though the UN believes in this principle, it did not work accordingly,” he added.

The issue of the UN’s responsibility came up a day after a statement issued by Free Rohingya Coalition (FRC), an umbrella network of Rohingya refugees, condemnned the “systemic UN failures” regarding the genocide unleashed by the Myanmarese army. The coalition also demanded the resignation of the UN secretary general and his deputies.

An FRC statement said the UN secretary general and his managerial deputies should be held accountable for their failures that have emboldened Myanmar’s ongoing persecution of Rohingyas in Rakhine State. On the question of

holding Myanmar accountable for the genocide of the Rohingya population, the foreign minister replied: “Certainly. We don’t want any persecution, mass killing, and ethnic cleansing anywhere. All countries, including us, must be committed against any persecution. And those who are responsible for such mass killings should be brought to justice.”

Momen also said that international humanitarian laws and the Geneva Conventions were being used in a discriminatory manner. “Those who formulate the laws turn their faces away when humanity is violated by war or conflicts,” he nnoted.

“Rich and powerful countries ignore the Geneva Convention, while the weak states suffer. We want rich and powerful counties to abide by the humanitarian laws on a non-discriminatory way,” he added.

The seminar titled “70-year anniversary of the Geneva Conventions and the relevance of International Humanitarian Law in today’s evolving humanitarian world” was jointly organised by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Diplomatic Correspondents’ Association, Bangladesh (DCAB).

The foreign minister said: “The international community must make a strong resolve to ensure that Myanmar is held accountable for this gross violation of human rights. Otherwise, the spirit and value of the Geneva Conventions would continue to be undermined.”

To promote humanitarian law in general and the Geneva Conventions in particular, the foreign ministry has established a national committee on International Humanitarian Law (IHL) to work on the implementation of the Geneva Conventions in Bangladesh, including drafting legislations pursuant to those conventions, the minister said. DCAB president Raheed Ejaz and general secretary Nurul Islam Hasib also spoke on the occasion.

 

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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