Geneva, 13 April 13, 2018: UNHCR and the Government of Bangladesh signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) relating to the return of Rohingyas to their homeland in Myanmar.
The Memorandum, signed by the Foreign Secretary Md. Shahidul Haque and UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, established a framework of cooperation between UNHCR and Bangladesh on the safe, dignified and sustainable return of Rohingays in line with international standards. Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the UN in Geneva, M Shameem Ahsan and members of the Joint Working Group on Repatriation of Rohingyas attended the signing. After the signing Foreign Secretary had a meeting with the High Commissioner and he also briefed the senior UNHCR officials.
Foreign Secretary highlighted the visionary leadership and guidance of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in providing shelter and humanitarian support to the Rohingyas. High CommissionerGrandi and the UNHCR officials highly praised the “extraordinary leadership of the Prime Minister” and thanked her and the people of Bangladesh for sheltering the forcibly displaced Rohingyas and thus saving lives as well as contributing in peace and stability of the region.
Bangladesh is currently hosting over one million forcibly displaced Rohingyas from Myanmar. Nearly 700,000 have arrived and taken shelter in Cox’s Bazar since 25 August 2017 to flee the atrocities in the northern Rakhine State. Bangladesh, with cooperation from international community including the UN agencies, is providing them with all basic humanitarian services. In the meantime, Bangladesh also signed Bilateral Arrangements with Myanmar for sustainable return of the Rohingyas to Myanmar.
To ensure speedy, safe and sustainable return of the Rohingyas, under the bilateral arrangements, UNHCR would assist the Government of Bangladesh in over all return process. UNHCR would also engage with Myanmar to ensure that conducive environment is created to facilitate such return.
During the meeting with High Commissioner, Foreign |Secretary discussed about present humanitarian response situation with the Rohingyas in the camps. Both sides agreed to cooperate in relocation of Rohingyas to Bhashan Char.
In the briefing with the senior UNHCR officials Foreign Secretary highlighted the disaster preparednessfor the Rohingyas and the people in Cox’sbazar. Foreign Secretary elaborated the criticality of the situation faced by Bangladesh with the hope that the UNHCR would help Bangladesh to work together for a durable solution of the problem through sustainable return.
Mr. Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali, M.P.