We're Live Bangla Wednesday, June 07, 2023

Myanmar situation continues to remain unsafe for civilians: Bangladesh

Rabab FatimaUNB

Bangladesh is concerned that the situation in Myanmar continues to remain unsafe for civilians, especially for the ethnic and religious minorities such as Rohingyas, Ambassador Rabab Fatima has said.

While referring to the precarious security situation in Myanmar which is causing a delay in the repatriation of the Rohingyas, she also expressed concern about the denial of access to the UN and other humanitarian agencies in the country.

Ambassador Fatima was speaking at the UN Security Council (UNSC) Open Debate Wednesday.

She said the protection of civilians (POC) is an important national priority for Bangladesh, and the country remains committed to all efforts to strengthen it.

Convened by the US delegation as the current president of the Council, the debate focused on the protection of civilians in armed conflicts.

It discussed possible practical measures that the UNSC can take in the context of denial of humanitarian access, and attacks against humanitarian workers, among others.

The Bangladesh ambassador said the protection of civilians remains a serious challenge in the context of ongoing conflicts, protracted humanitarian crises and growing forced displacement.

While humanitarian needs are soaring, access remains a major challenge.

Ambassador Fatima mentioned Bangladesh’s commitment to the protection of civilians, and the role its peacekeepers play in fulfilling this mandate.

“Nearly 7,000 peacekeepers from Bangladesh are serving in some of the most challenging missions, providing security at civilian sites, ensuring unhindered humanitarian services, supporting delivery of health and social services, community engagement and empowerment of women and youths,” she added.

However, the peacekeepers and the humanitarian workers are increasingly becoming targets of attacks, often fueled by misinformation and disinformation.

The ambassador suggested that the relevant UN entities develop effective communications strategies to combat this.

She also emphasised ensuring that the peacekeeping missions are adequately resourced and equipped to fulfil their POC mandates.

Ambassador Fatima also called for increased awareness of compliance with international humanitarian law by all parties to the conflicts.

She also stressed the importance of holding the perpetrators accountable for violations of international humanitarian law. “Targeting civilians, schools, hospitals, and humanitarian actors cannot be condoned under any pretext. These attacks must be investigated and accounted for.”