Dhaka seeks robust support of OIC, UNHCR for sustainable Rohingya solution

Bangladesh foreign secretary Masud Bin Momen holds a meeting with the joint delegation of OIC and UNHCRBSS

Bangladesh foreign secretary Masud Bin Momen has urged a joint delegation of OIC and UNHCR to mobilise robust international support for sustainable solution to the Rohingya crisis, reports news agency BSS.

"Ensuring accountability for the atrocities committed against Rohingyas, as well as repatriation of the Rohingyas to their ancestral homeland, Myanmar or third country resettlement - are sustainable solutions to the Rohingya crisis", he said.

The foreign secretary said this during a meeting with the visiting joint delegation of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees at the foreign ministry on Thursday, a foreign ministry press release said.

At the meeting, the foreign secretary also urged the joint delegation to mobilise robust international support for ensuring sustainable solution to this tragic crisis and continue humanitarian assistance till repatriation is materialised.

The OIC delegation, headed by the Assistant-Secretary General for Humanitarian, Cultural and Social Affairs, Ambassador Tarig Ali Bakheet, the UNHRC delegation, headed by Khaled Khalifa, Senior Advisor to the High Commissioner and UNHCR's Representative for the GCC countries and other development partners are visiting Bangladesh from 6 August to 11 August to take stock of the situation of Rohingyas.

Masud Bin Momen stated that under the prudent leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the Bangladesh government has provided shelter and protection to the forcibly displaced Rohingyas from their ancestral homeland, Myanmar.

He reiterated Bangladesh's intention towards meaningful engagement of the UN, regional bodies and other friendly nations in materialising the return of the Rohingyas to their homeland and ensuring their rights to return. He also appreciated the humanitarian assistance received from the international community.

Ambassador Momen appreciated the visit of the OIC and UNHCR delegations to the Rohingya Camps in Ukhia and Teknaf in Cox's Bazar and hoped that the delegation had firsthand idea of the crisis as well as witnessed the efforts taken by the Bangladesh government with the support of the international community to alleviate the sufferings of the Rohingyas through different programmes.

He also apprised the delegation of the Bhasan Char project which is implemented by the Bangladesh government spending US$ 350 million of its own resources.

Recalling the OIC Secretary-General's recent visit to Bangladesh, foreign secretary commended the OIC Secretary-General for his firm support for the ICJ case filed by The Gambia, and sincere efforts to maintain the focus of the Rohingya issue in different forums of the OIC.

Raising concern over the insufficient funding for the ICJ case filed by The Gambia, as well as declining assistance for the humanitarian operations for the FDMNs, Masud Bin Momen urged the OIC as well as the Gulf countries to increase their assistance for Rohingyas.

During the call on, the OIC Assistant Secretary-General praised the government and people of Bangladesh for providing shelter, protection and necessary assistance to the Rohingyas. He renewed OIC's commitment to remain constructively engaged on the issue of Rohingya. "Repatriation is the final solution to this crisis", he added.

The senior advisor to the High Commissioner and UNHCR's Representative for the GCC Countries suggested to diversify funding sources.

Prior to the call, the OIC and UNHCR delegations met with the principal secretary to the prime minister of Bangladesh on 10 August 2023 at the Prime Minister's Office. During the meeting, the principal secretary highlighted to the visiting delegation the relocation of the Rohingyas from Cox's Bazar to Bhashan Char and sought more contribution to the Joint Response Plan (JRP).

He requested the visiting delegation to jointly organise dedicated programmes for the Rohingyas and called for enhanced diplomatic efforts to keep the issue alive on the global agenda.

The visiting delegations also includes OIC Special Envoy to Myanmar Ambassador Ibrahim Ahdy Khairat, representatives from the Islamic Solidarity Fund (ISF), Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD), Kuwait's Zakat House and Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED).