POST TIME: 9 March, 2018 12:16:02 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 9 March, 2018 09:10:50 PM
UN helpless, can’t aid refugees, says UNHCR rep
Rohingya crisis

UN helpless, can’t aid refugees, says UNHCR rep

The United Nations (UN) finds itself in a helpless situation when it cannot help refugees and that the global body needs to do more, the UN representative of high commissioner for refugees (UNHCR) in Bangladesh yesterday said with regard to any possible actions against Myanmar for its treatment of the Rohingya community.

“We are in a situation where we are helpless. We can’t help refugees. We need to do more,” Andrew Mbogori told a discussion on ‘Global Compacts for Migration and Refugee’ organised by the Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS) at its auditorium.

Placing emphasis on political commitment of the member states, he said that the UN needs to see the issues that triggers refugee crisis-- a situation that ‘haunts’ them.

On the role of the global body, UN resident coordinator in Bangladesh Mia Seppo, who was present at the programme, said that the global body is an organisation of member states and

that it functions in accordance with the desire of its members. Describing the activities of the United Nations Security Council as endless, she reiterated the UN’s call upon the Myanmar government to fully implement the recommendations of the Annan Commission for a long-term solution to the protracted Rohingya crisis and said the UN is ready to support any efforts in this regard.

The UN continues to speak boldly with regard to the issue and I think the international community is still committed, Seppo said, demanding unfettered access of international organisations to the affected areas in Rakhine.

She also voiced her opinion in favour of involving the UNHCR, the refugee agency of the global body, with the process of repatriation of the Rohingyas.

Moderated by Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque, the discussion was addressed, among others, by Professor Imtiaz Ahmed of the international relations department of Dhaka University, Gervais Appave, special adviser of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) director general, and BIISS Director General Maj Gen Abdur Rahman.

Prof Imtiaz said that migration is and always has been disorderly and chaotic and emphasis needs to be placed to minimise the disorder as much as possible.

He expressed his optimism that the compacts on migration and refugee will help mitigate the sufferings of the migrants and refugees across the world.

He reminded the audience that only about 3.2 per cent of the world’s population are migrants.

Appave said that the objectives of the two compacts, which were initiated at a summit of the world leaders at the United Nations in September, 2016, are to benefit the migrants.

And, he said that the concept of the global compact on migration was floated by Bangladesh.

UNHCR representative Mbogori said that there is still time for making any change to the compact on refugees.

In his closing remarks, Foreign Secretary Haque said that there is ‘too much of a rift’ between the developed countries and developing countries with regards to the issues affecting the migrants.

The prime objective of the compact on migration is to put in place a mechanism, either binding or semi-binding, to regulate migration for the betterment of the migrants, he said.