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4 December, 2017 00:00 00 AM
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Special Rohingya session at UNHRC tomorrow

Dhaka still in difficulty to gain India, China support

HUMAYUN KABIR BHUIYAN
Dhaka still in difficulty to 
gain India, China support
Rohingya migrants stand along a track running through Thankhali refugee camp in Cox's Bazar on Sunday. AFP photo

Bangladesh is yet again facing difficulty in getting support from China and India with regard to a special session on Rohingya crisis scheduled to be held tomorrow at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva. The HRC is an inter-governmental body within the UN system made up of 47 states responsible for the promotion and protection of all human rights around the globe. Members are elected for a three-year term.

This will be the 27th special session of the UNHRC since its inception titled "The human rights situation of the minority Rohingya Muslim population and other minorities in the Rakhine State of Myanmar". The last one was held on December 14, 2016. “A special session is really special,” said a senior Bangladeshi diplomat.

According to diplomatic sources, in order to get such a special session, support of one third of the 47 HRC members for the request is required and Bangladesh has so far received support from 33 member states --  Albania, Bangladesh, Belgium, Botswana, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Egypt, El Salvador, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Hungary, Indonesia, Iraq, Japan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Netherlands, Nigeria, Panama, Paraguay, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia, Togo, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and United States of America.

The 14 members that did not support Bangladesh so far are Bolivia, Congo, India, Burundi, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Mongolia, Venezuela, Brazil, China, Cuba, South Africa and the Philippines among others, they said.

However, they added that non-support of these members for the request does not mean that they will vote against the adoption of resolution and it is not guaranteed that supporters of the request will vote for the resolution. There will be negotiations regarding the draft of the resolution to bring maximum number of countries onboard, said the sources.

They said that those countries, who either voted against or abstained or absent at the voting at the Third Committee of the UN general assembly

on November 16, are yet to support the request. But, the sources pointed out that this time round Japan, which abstained at the Third Committee voting, is supporting Bangladesh. The sources said that China and India, two of Myanmar’s powerful neighbours, have not yet supported the Bangladesh’s request. At the Third Committee voting, China voted against the resolution while India abstained, causing disappointment among the officials and policy makers of the country. The sources said that understandably it will be difficult to bring China and India onboard, but efforts are on.

“Let’s see what happen. We’re trying. Given the voting pattern at the Third Committee it is anybody’s guess as to how these two nations will vote,” said a senior diplomat. Another diplomat pointed out that when the HRC adopted a resolution on sending a fact-finding mission to Rakhine in March last year, China and India ‘disassociated’ from the resolution. About the prospect of the adoption of the resolution, the sources said that Bangladesh is hopeful about it. About the impact of such a non-binding resolution, they said that it will put added pressure on Myanmar and the adoption of such resolution has ‘special significance’.

Prior to the special session, the HRC president will hold an open-ended informative consultation before the special session on its conduct and organisation today, they added.

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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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