New York, 19 June 2021
Bangladesh expressed deep disappointment during adoption of the resolution on the situation of Myanmar, which it said, failed to adequately reflect on the Rohingya crisis and in recommending any actions to resolve that crisis. The resolution on the ‘Situation in Myanmar’ was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 18 June with 119 votes in favour, 01 against and 36 abstentions, focusing on the current democratic crisis in the country, including the declaration of emergency, and detention of its political leader, calling for restoration of democracy, while recognizing the central role of ASEAN.
The resolution was initiated by a core group of member States including the US, EU, UK, and Canada among others. The core group finalized the resolution in consultation with ASEAN members, who recently held a Leaders’ Meeting in Jakarta, which was also attended by the Myanmar military leader. The GA resolution welcomes the five-point consensus reached at the ASEAN Leader’s Meeting and calls for its swift implementation.
However, the resolution did not include any recommendations or actions on the issue of repatriation of the Rohingya Muslims to Myanmar. Neither does it recognize or stress the need for creating a conducive environment in Rakhine for the safe, sustainable and dignified return. The resolution also lacks determination to address root causes of the Rohingya crisis through collective means. As such fundamental issues were not included in the resolution; therefore, Bangladesh decided to abstain.
Some key OIC members, including some ASEAN and SAARC members also abstained. A large number of countries spoke after the adoption of the resolution, and they all commended Bangladesh’s tremendous sacrifice and contribution in hosting the Rohingyas. The Bangladesh Ambassador in her explanation of vote, expressed dismay at the resolution, which she said, fell short of expectations and would be sending a wrong message. She said that the failure of the international community in addressing the crisis, creates a sense of impunity in Myanmar.
It may be noted that, this GA resolution, which has been initiated under the agenda item “prevention of armed conflict”, is separate from the annual 3rd committee ‘resolution on the situation of human rights of the Rohingya Muslims and other minorities in Myanmar’.
The 3rd committee resolution on the Rohingya Muslims is spearheaded by Bangladesh along with the OIC and the EU. It is usually tabled in October during the annual session of the UN General Assembly, and enjoys strong support of the wider membership of the UN.