November 18, 2018 03:30 PM NPT
Photo Courtesy: Agencies
UNITED NATIONS, Nov 18: A key United Nations committee endorsed a resolution on Friday expressing "grave concern" and "strongly condemning" all violations and abuses of human rights against Rohingyas in Myanmar.
It also reiterated "deep distress" at reports of unarmed Rohingyas were still being subjected to excessive use of force and rights violations by Myanmar's military and security forces, including killings and rapes.
The UN Committee measured urgent calls on Myanmar government to end discrimination and provide a path to citizenship for the Rohingyas.
The latest report of UN said 669 children were reported killed and 39 maimed in Myanmar since August last year, and a large majority of them were Rohingyas.
“These findings are in line with what other UN bodies have found, confirming killing, maiming, and rape, for which Myanmar's armed forces have already been listed on the Secretary General's Annual Report from last year," Stéphane Dujarric, spokesperson for the secretary general, said.
The resolution on the human rights situation in Myanmar, co-sponsored by the European Union, Canada and the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to the UN General Assembly's Third Committee - Social, Humanitarian and Cultural, won 142 nations.
In addition to Myanmar, China and Russia, seven other countries voted against it and 26 nations, including Japan and India, abstained. It would be put to a voting in a plenary session and be formally adopted by the 193 member of UN in December.
In November last year, the Third Committee had also passed a similar resolution on the “Situation of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar” which was adopted by 135 countries in favour, ten against and 26 abstentions.
A month later, on December 24, 2017, the full UN General Assembly voted on the resolution with 122 countries in favour, ten 'No' and 24 abstentions. In both of these resolutions, India had abstained.
Meanwhile, a new report by the Secretary General for Children and Armed Conflict found that boys and girls in Myanmar suffered patterns of "grave violations" following the start of the crisis in northern Rakhine.
The Third Committee motion also acknowledged the label "ethnic cleansing" made by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and other UN officials "with grave concern".
It also called on the Myanmar authorities to ensure that those responsible for rights violations and abuses were held accountable and removed from positions of power.
Turkish Ambassador Feridun Sinirlioglu, speaking on behalf of the OIC, called the commission's findings "devastating".
The representative of Austria, on behalf of the EU, called for unhindered access to humanitarian assistance and recalled the Security Council's authority to refer the situation to the International Criminal Court.
Bangladesh's UN envoy Masud Bin Momen said Bangladesh had agreed on November 15 to commence voluntary repatriation of individuals and families verified by Myanmar as Rakhine State residents.
It, however, appeared that the Rohingyas were not sufficiently convinced by the words of assurance. None of them came forward to avail the option of returning, said a press release of Bangladesh Mission in UN.