'Safe zone' for Rohingyas in Myanmar | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 16, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 16, 2019

'Safe zone' for Rohingyas in Myanmar

Shahriar Alam shares possibility at OIC meeting

State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam has said the international community has a shared responsibility to help restore the Rohingyas' fundamental rights and freedom, including their right to return to Myanmar with safety and dignity.

“By opening our borders to the persecuted Rohingyas, Bangladesh has not only saved lives but also stabilised the entire region,” he said at an OIC meeting on Thursday.

He raised the possibility of creating a civilian “safe zone” for the Rohingya returnees in Myanmar, to be monitored by the human rights and humanitarian outfits.

While briefing OIC ambassadors and delegates about the evolving situation with the crisis, State Minister Shahriar Alam sought OIC member states' support for creating a conducive situation in Myanmar for the Rohingyas' safe and dignified return.

The state minister also shared information on the government's plans to relocate a portion of the Rohingya population in Cox's Bazar to Bhashan Char island in consultation with all stakeholders concerned.

The OIC ambassadors and delegates from Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Indonesia, Pakistan, Lebanon, Jordan, Libya, Palestine and the Maldives reaffirmed their solidarity with the forcibly displaced Rohingya and commended Bangladesh for its generosity in hosting them.

The OIC member states reiterated their commitment to help find a peaceful and lasting solution to the crisis through sustained engagement in the relevant human rights and humanitarian fora in Geneva, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Bangladesh.

State Minister Alam also had a bilateral meeting with Michelle Bachelet, UN high commissioner for human rights, where they discussed the latest developments over the Rohingya crisis.

The high commissioner assured of continued engagement of her office in realising the newly elected government's commitments to promoting the rule of law, good governance and human rights.

The state minister said in course of its efforts to further consolidate democracy and sustainable development, the government of Bangladesh would make all possible efforts to deliver on the huge mandate given by the electorate.

Shahriar Alam earlier had a meeting with Houlin Zhao, secretary general of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

The secretary general said the Bangladesh narrative is a good model for the ITU to promote among other developing countries.

He invited Bangladesh to actively engage in the development of international telecommunications standards.

State Minister Shahriar Alam encouraged ITU to contribute further in member states' capacity building for cyber security, including through existing regional arrangements.

He assured the secretary general of doing Bangladesh's part in helping ITU achieve its strategic goals and targets till 2023.

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