Dhaka, Jun 13: United Nations (UN) Secretary General Antonio Guterres has expressed deep concern over the delay in forcefully displaced Rohingyas repatriation from Bangladesh to Myanmar.
He expressed the concern at a meeting with State Minister for Foreign Affairs Bangladesh M Shahriar Alam in New York on Wednesday, according to the statement issued by Bangladesh Permanent Mission to the UN received here on Thursday.
The state minister held a bilateral meeting with the UN Chief on Rohingya issue and the birth centenary celebration of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
During the meeting, Alam informed the UN Secretary General about the existing problems regarding the Rohingya crisis including Myanmar’s non-cooperation in starting the repatriation.
He also informed Guterres about steps taken by The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to put Myanmar’s accountability issue over Rohingya atrocities before the International Court.
The OIC recently asked its ad hoc ministerial committee led by Gambia to launch a case over Myanmar’s human rights violations against Rohingyas at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
Guterres thanked Bangladesh’s government and its people for their generosity in extending shelter and humanitarian assistance to distressed Rohingyas.
Bangladesh is hosting nearly 1.2 million forcefully displaced Rohingyas in Cox’s Bazar district and most of them arrived there since August 25, 2017 after a military crackdown by Myanmar termed as textbook example of ethnic cleansing by the UN.
During the meeting, the State Minister requested the participation of the UN head and UN as a body in the celebration of Bangabandhu’s birth centenary and golden jubilee of Bangladesh’s independence.
Praising Bangladesh’s progress under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the UN Secretary General lauded Bangladesh for its active participation in climate issues.
He said the UN is looking forward to Bangladesh’s active and fruitful participation in the ensuing Climate Action Summit.
The UN chief also thanked Bangladesh for its great contribution to UN peacekeeping mission.
Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque and Permanent Representative (PR) of Bangladesh to the UN Ambassador Masud Bin Momen were also present.
Besides, Alam held a meeting with the Head of UN Peace Operations Under Secretary General for Jean-Pierre Lacroix. During the meeting, the state minister reiterated Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s commitment in ensuring world peace and security.
The UN peace operation chief Lacroix praised Bangladesh’s continuous participation and progress in UN peacekeeping mission. He expected that Bangladesh will increase its women participation in the UN peacekeeping missions.
The state minister informed that Bangladesh is gradually increase the number of its women peacekeepers and it will be continued. He also ensured that Bangladesh will continue its activities as a ‘champion country’ in the UN head’s action for peacekeeping agenda.
Alam also urged the UN to appoint Bangladesh officers at the high level posts in the UN peacekeeping missions. Lacroix assured the state minister to consider the matter.
Bangladesh permanent mission’s defense adviser Brigadier General Khan Firoz Ahmed and minister Dr Monowar Hossain were present. (UNI)