The resolution on the 'Situation in Myanmar' was adopted by the UN General Assembly on June 18 with 119 votes in favour, 1 against and 36 abstentions. Bangladesh also abstained.
It focused 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 finalised the resolution in consultation with ASEAN members, who recently held a Leaders' Summit in Bangkok, which was also attended by the Myanmar military leader. The GA resolution welcomes the five-point consensus reached at the Leader's Summit 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 nor stress the need for creating a conducive environment in Rakhine for the safe, sustainable and dignified return, said Bangladesh's Permanent Mission to the UN in New York.
"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.
Bangladesh Ambassador to the UN Rabab Fatima, 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, "The failure of the international community in addressing the crisis, creates a sense of impunity in Myanmar."
It may be noted that, this UNGA 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.
Published : June 20, 2021
By : The Daily Star / ANN