31 October 2019
At the 33rd ASEAN summit in Singapore last year, the issue of the Rakhine/Rohingya crisis was high on the agenda. The chairman’s statement expressed ASEAN’s readiness to support Myanmar in the repatriation process by conducting a needs assessment in the Rakhine state.
It also recognized the need to find comprehensive and durable solutions to the crisis and to create conducive conditions for refugees to return and rebuild their lives and encouraged Myanmar to take forward the implementation of the recommendations of the Rakhine Advisory Commission led by the late United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan.
A year later, on the eve of the 35th ASEAN Summit in Thailand (slated for Oct. 31 to Nov. 4), things have not moved forward as hoped. Not a single Rohingya has agreed voluntarily to the official repatriation process, and while Myanmar has developed physical infrastructure in Rakhine in preparation for repatriation, too little has been done to guarantee security and basic rights of the Rohingya to convince them to return.
… Noeleen Heyzer is Member of the United Nations secretary-general’s high-level advisory board on mediation and distinguished fellow at Singapore Management University and distinguished visiting fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies.
NTS Centre / Online
Last updated on 05/11/2019