Rohingyas' basic rights must be respected, says UNGA President

Diplomatic Correspondent

27 May, 2021 12:00 AM printer

President of UN General Assembly Volkan Bozkir has said the basic and fundamental rights, including  citizenship, and creation of conducive conditions for voluntary, safe, dignified and sustainable return of all forcibly displaced Rohingyas must be respected.

Delivering a keynote speech at the 6th Lecture of the Bangabandhu Lecture Series at the Foreign Service Academy on Tuesday, he said the safety and security of the Rohingya and other minority communities must be secured.

Volkan Bozkir, who is the President of the current (75th) UNGA session, paid a two-day visit to Bangladesh on May 25-26.

On Wednesday, he visited Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar, where more than 1.1 million Myanmar nationals took temporary shelter amid ethnic cleansing and genocide in Rakhine State by the security forces.

Turning to the issue of human rights and humanitarian action, he commended Bangladesh for offering shelter and protection to the Rohingyas fleeing persecution and unspeakable crimes in Rakhine State.

The UNGA President mentioned that Bangladesh stepped up at a moment of crisis to uphold the principles of the United Nations when its most vulnerable neighbours endured their darkest hour.

"Please allow me, on behalf of the United Nations General Assembly, to thank you. History will define your actions as heroic," he said.

Volkan Bozkir said he remains "deeply concerned" about the humanitarian implications of the military's recent actions in Myanmar. "I join calls for an immediate end to the violence."

A year ago, he said, the International Court of Justice ordered Myanmar to do everything possible to prevent a genocide against the Rohingyas. "This order retains its urgency and should not be forgotten as we face new challenges relating to the coup and its violent aftermath." #

Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen also spoke at the programme on "Bangabandhu, Bangladesh and the United Nations."

During his two-day visit, Volkan Bozkir met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen, spoke at a joint press briefing, delivered speech at Bangabandhu lecture series, met with UN officials in Bangladesh. Ending his tour he left Dhaka for Islamabad on Wednesday.