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Historic UNSC Visit

The significance should not be lost sight of

To have the Security Council members visit a country is indeed extremely significant, particularly when that is taking place in connection with a matter as important as the Rohingya crisis.

Noteworthy is Myanmar relenting eventually to allow a UN visit to the Rakhine State; we would hope that the significance of the entire visit would be fully understood by our policy makers, and that the occasion would be fully utilised to carry our point home to the visiting team members.

Bangladesh is facing several challenges posed by the unprecedented influx of the Rohingyas, the humanitarian and security issues being the two most deleterious consequences of the influx.

And nobody more than Bangladesh wants not only a quick return of the refugees to their country but also an enduring solution so that we would not have to face such a situation in the future. And it is not for Bangladesh alone to achieve that. Role of the UN, the UNSC particularly, is very crucial in this regard.

The views and attitude of the Security Council as a collective body towards a particular situation becomes inconsequential when some of its permanent members cast their veto against it. We are fully aware of the respective positions of Russia and China on the Rohingya issue.

Every single proposition have so far been thwarted by their vote against firm actions against the Myanmar government to compel it to uphold international laws and conventions.

Direct interaction has more impact than tomes of papers, briefing notes and documents circulated to UNSC members. Thus the visit should provide a very good opportunity for Bangladesh to change their mindset through direct interaction between their permanent representatives and our foreign office mandarins at the very highest level.

But that might not be possible given that, coincidently, the most important persons in the foreign office associated with policy making would be absent from the country, assisting the PM on her visit to Australia, during the period of the said visit. And we fear their absence during the very crucial UN visit might give the wrong signal to the UN delegation.

We believe a meeting with our highest level of the foreign ministry, before the UNSC delegation meets the Prime Minister, would give due weightage to the visit and have the desired effect. We urge the authorities to give this a serious thought.

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