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18 November, 2017 12:00:44 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 18 November, 2017 05:35:50 PM
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Dhaka satisfied with outcome

Says Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque
HUMAYUN KABIR BHUIYAN
Dhaka satisfied with outcome

Dhaka expressed its satisfaction over the adoption of a draft resolution of the third committee of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) calling upon the Myanmar government to end the ongoing military operations in Rakhine and to hold the perpetrators of the systemic violation and abuse of human rights of Rohingyas. It also called for the authorities to grant full, unrestricted and unmonitored access for the fact-finding mission of the UN Human Rights Council, other human rights mechanisms and the United Nations to independently monitor the situation. The assembly also requested the secretary-general to continue to provide his good offices and to pursue discussions relating to Myanmar, involving all relevant stakeholders, and in that context, to appoint a special envoy on Myanmar.

In the recorded voting, 135 out of 193 members including Israel and Pakistan voted for the resolution, titled ‘The Human Rights Situation in Myanmar’ 10 against and 26 members abstained. And, 22 countries were absent.

The countries that voted against are Myanmar, China, Russia, Belarus, Cambodia, Laos, the Philippines, Syria, Vietnam and Zimbabwe. The 26 countries abstaining from voting include India, Japan, Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Singapore and Thailand while the absent nations include Iran and South Korea.

“I am satisfied about the outcome of the voting at the third committee of the UNGA,” Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque told The Independent yesterday. About the next step, serving and former senior diplomats said that now this resolution will be voted again in the plenary session in December.

Then, they added that it will be final. To a question, they said that generally voting pattern remains the same in the plenary session, but there are instances where countries have voted differently in the plenary session.

On the impact of the adoption of such a resolution which was introduced by Saudi Arabia on behalf of the Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the diplomats said that this non-binding resolution is kind of ‘soft law’.

The resolution will put additional pressure on Myanmar to address the issue and the people of the world are expected to be much more aware about the Rohingya tragedy.

About the voting pattern, the diplomats said that things could have been better. At the same time, they said that it was anticipated earlier that China and Russia will vote against the resolution. On the abstention of India, the diplomats said that they are not surprised though disappointed by the move of the next door neighbour.

About the abstention of neighbours like Bhutan, Nepal and Sri Lanka, they said that so many factors including geopolitics and religion are involved in decision making. “I am not at all

surprised by the Indian decision. If you follow their statements since August 25, you will find consistency in their position,” former foreign secretary Touhid Hossain said.

“Undoubtedly, India’s abstention went against Bangladesh,” he said, adding that India’s abstention does not speak in line with the proposition of the government that New Delhi is with Dhaka on the Rohingya issue. Ambassador Humayun Kabir, a former secretary of the foreign ministry, is in complete agreement with Touhid Hossain.

However, Kabir noted that the voting in New York on Thursday can be seen as a learning opportunity for Bangladesh because Dhaka now knows better than before as to where it needs to work more.


IK/DG

 

 

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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.
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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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