UN / MYANMAR

14-May-2018 00:03:01
Upon the return of a Security Council mission to Myanmar and Bangladesh, the Ambassador of Kuwait Mansour Al Otaibi said the conditions “for safe, dignified, and sustainable, voluntary return for refugees to their homes are still not available.” UNIFEED
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STORY: UN / MYANMAR
TRT: 03.01
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / Arabic / NATS

DATELINE: 14 MAY 2018, NEW YORK CITY / FILE
SHOTLIST
FILE – RECENT, NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, exterior United Nations headquarters

14 MAY 2018, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, Security Council
3. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Mansour Al Otaibi, Permanent Representative of Kuwait to the United Nations:
“Our discussions have shown that the conditions for safe, dignified, and sustainable, voluntary return for refugees to their homes are still not available.”
4. Med shot, Myanmar representative
5. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Mansour Al Otaibi, Permanent Representative of Kuwait to the United Nations:
“The sheer scale of the destruction we witnessed in the villages where the Rohingya minority lived in the north of Rakhine State showed that those actions, which contradict human rights, were acts of organized and systematic violence targeting a minority who has committed no crime other than being of a certain race and has adopted Islam as a religion. As we passed through the villages and saw a single home burnt in a particular village, or four homes burnt and destroyed in another, we firmly believe that what these homes experienced was the betrayal of a neighbour to another neighbour, and the violation of their rights as citizens and human beings, and their exposure to what could amount to ethnic cleansing.”
6. Med shot, Bangladesh Ambassador
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Karen Pierce, Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the United Nations:
“I was very struck by the magnitude of what the refugees face, and what the governments face, and what the UN faces as they try to get the people home. We did see widespread devastation from the air and this is obviously one reason for the scale of refugee camps in Bangladesh. I think the second reflection would be the need for the Burmese authorities to increase the scale of their response and to allow the UN in with unconditional access to assist them, only the UN has the technical expertise and know-how to deal with an event this magnitude.”
8. Med shot, delegates
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Hau Do Suan, Permanent Representative of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar to United Nations:
“In resolving current issues relating to the Rakhine State, we all agree that the most urgent task right now is to start repatriation of displaced persons in accordance to the bilateral agreements. We have repeatedly stated that we want to start the repatriation process as soon as possible as we are ready to receive the returnees.”
9. Wide shot, Security Council
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Masud Bin Momen, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations:
“The Rohingya need to have concrete answers to some of the fundamental questions about Myanmar authorities immediate to long-term plans regarding their citizenship, freedom of movement, human rights and socio-economic development. It would be facetious to claim readiness for repatriation to start at the soonest while there is no plausible response yet for the ways the Rohingya can be assured of an end to the systematic persecution, dehumanization, and disposition in Myanmar.”
11. Wide shot, Council
STORYLINE
Upon the return of a Security Council mission to Myanmar and Bangladesh, the Ambassador of Kuwait Mansour Al Otaibi today (14 May) said the conditions “for safe, dignified, and sustainable, voluntary return for refugees to their homes are still not available.”

Al Otaibi, co-leader of the delegation, said “the sheer scale of the destruction we witnessed in the villages where the Rohingya minority lived in the north of Rakhine State showed that those actions, which contradict human rights, were acts of organized and systematic violence targeting a minority who has committed no crime other than being of a certain race and has adopted Islam as a religion.”

He said the conditions endured by the Rohingya minority amount to a “violation of their rights as citizens and human beings, and their exposure to what could amount to ethnic cleansing.”

Ambassador Karen Pierce of the United Kingdom, also a delegation co-leader, said they witnessed “widespread devastation” and pointed out “the need for the Burmese authorities to increase the scale of their response and to allow the UN in with unconditional access to assist them.”

She added that “only the UN has the technical expertise and know-how to deal with an event this magnitude.”

Myanmar Ambassador Hau Do Suan said “we all agree that the most urgent task right now is to start repatriation of displaced persons in accordance to the bilateral agreements. We have repeatedly stated that we want to start the repatriation process as soon as possible as we are ready to receive the returnees.”

For his part, Bangladesh Ambassador Masud Bin Momen said “the Rohingya need to have concrete answers to some of the fundamental questions about Myanmar authorities immediate to long-term plans regarding their citizenship, freedom of movement, human rights and socio-economic development.”

He said, “it would be facetious to claim readiness for repatriation to start at the soonest while there is no plausible response yet for the ways the Rohingya can be assured of an end to the systematic persecution, dehumanization, and disposition in Myanmar.”

Security Council’s members visited Bangladesh and Myanmar from 28 April to 1 May.
In Cox’s Bazar, they interacted with refugees, and heard from officials involved in running the refugee camps. In Dhaka, they met with the Bangladesh Prime Minister Shiekh Hasina and other senior government officials, as well as representatives of the UN Country Team and civil society.
In Myanmar, the Council delegation met with State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and senior members of her cabinet, as well as with Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Services Senior General Min Aung Hlaing and other senior generals. The delegation also met with members of the UN Country Team, local government officials, representatives of civil society, and the local population in Rakhine State.
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