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UN urged to place Rohingya issue under global spotlight

Staff Reporter:

Foreign Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud yesterday urged the United Nations (UN) to place the Rohingya issue under global spotlight as UN resident coordinator in Dhaka Gwyn Lewis observed that the current tensed situation in Rakhine state is not conducive for Rohingya repatriation.
“Rohingya issue should not be lost from the international spotlight … the issue has already been blurred from the spotlight due to the Russia-Ukraine war and later on atrocities in Gaza,” Mahmud told reporters after holding a meeting with Lewis at the foreign ministry here.
During the meeting, the foreign minister said, he raised the issue of humanitarian aid for the Rohingyas that was halved due to other global conflicts.
“If the aid goes down, it will be a burden for us to manage Rohingyas,” he said.
Mahmud said the UN resident coordinator informed him that she had been trying to encourage different donor agencies to increase the volume of humanitarian assistance for the Rohignyas.
While talking to the reporters, Lewis said, they talked about the insecurity in Myanmar at the moment while there is more displacements in the country.
“I explained to the minister that we are doing what we can in Myanmar to provide humanitarian support … the situation (in Rakhine) is very difficult, so it is not a good time for the (Rohingya) repatriation,” she said.
However, she said repatriation is something that obviously is a priority for the Rohingyas and the Bang-ladesh government, while the UN will continue to work in that direction.
“But in the meantime, we are very concerned about the humanitarian situation and the minister (Mahmud) is committed to helping us fundraise for the joint response plan which we hopefully launch in coming weeks in Geneva,” she said.
The UN Bangladesh chief termed the Rohingya crisis as a political issue between the member states.
“I am not a politician; this is very much of a political issue between member states, and from the UN perspective the UN general secretary is following the issue very closely,” she said.
Lewis said the UN will engage in a more systematic way on the Rohingya issue while the secretary gen-eral is working very hard to appoint a UN special envoy for Myanmar.
The UN resident coordinator said they also talked about other issues like climate change and Bangla-desh’s LDC graduation.
Replying to a question, Lewis said the UN will continue to work with the new government of Bangla-desh.

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