Ansar Ahmed Ullah
Contributing Editor, Shottobaniঃ Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, UK FCO Minister of State for the Commonwealth and the UN gave a statement at the UN Security Council (UNSC) on 28 August 2018 on forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals. In his UNSC statement on Rohingyas, the UK Minister called upon the international community to act for the sake of humanity. Lord Ahmad deeply appreciated Bangladesh for saving many thousands of lives by giving shelter to over 700,000 Rohingyas afresh joining more than 300,000 already forcibly displaced Rohingya’ in previous rounds of violence.
Having mentioned the report of the UN Fact-Finding Mission, the UK Minister stated that the recent report was the most authoritative account of the crimes committed against the Rohingya community by the Myanmar regime. Lord Ahmad clearly stated that the solution to this crisis lies in Myanmar. He mentioned that the Rohingya must be able to return home to Rakhine safely, voluntarily and importantly, with dignity. He called upon the Burmese authorities to provide UNHCR and the UNDP unconditional and unqualified access to northern Rakhine. Importantly, the UK Minister stressed on practical progress on implementing the Rakhine Advisory Commission’s recommendations including giving citizenship to the Rohingyas.
Lord Ahmad’s speech strongly suggested three responsibilities of the UNSC in the current context, firstly to continue to assist Bangladesh and the UN in providing protection and assistance to the Rohingyas and their host communities, secondly take concerted action to push for justice and the prospect of a peaceful future; and thirdly support those in Burma pushing for progress and pressure against those obstructing it. Being the UK Prime Minister’s Special Representative on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict, Lord Ahmad also informed the UNSC and all concerned that the Rohingya issue was a key priority for the UK Prime Minister and the UK government.