Bangladesh has once again conveyed to the international community that the displaced Rohingyas are not returning to their homeland primarily because they do not trust their government on the issues of safety and security.
In order to reduce trust deficit and confidence building, Bangladesh suggested Myanmar to engage non-military civilian observers from their friendly countries like ASEAN, China, Russia, India or other friends of their choice.
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen conveyed it to the Foreign Ministers of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) on Saturday adding such initiative may reduce trust deficit for a sustainable return.
The 27th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting was held virtually on Saturday. Foreign Minister Dr Momen led Bangladesh delegation to the 27th ARF Meeting.
During the 27th ARF Meeting, ARF Member States including Australlia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Singapore, USA and the European Union insisted on solving Rohingya issue as soon as possible.
They urged upon safe, sustainable, dignified repatriation of Rohingyas to their homeland, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
"We solicit support from our ARF partners so that these hapless Rohingyas can return to their home in safety, security and dignity, resettle there, and reintegrate in their society," Dr Momen said.
Once they return to their homeland they could be contributing members in the development of Myanmar, he said.
Bangladesh is hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas in Cox's Bazar district who are forcibly displaced from Myanmar.
The meeting was participated by the Foreign Ministers, Deputy Foreign Ministers and other delegates of the 26 ARF Member States and the Secretary General of the European External Action Service of the European Union which is also a member of ARF.
The meeting was chaired by Pham Binh Minh, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam and Chair of ASEAN Regional Forum.
Five ARF documents - “List of ARF Track-1 Activities for the Inter-sessional Year 2020-2021”, “ARF Ha Noi Plan of Action II (2020-2025)”, “ARF Statement on Enhancing Cooperation to Prevent and Respond to Infectious Disease Outbreaks”, “ARF Statement on the Treatment of Children Recruited by or Associated with Terrorist Groups” and “ARF Statement on Cooperation in the Field of Security of and in the Use of ICTs in the Context of Developing Digital Economy” were unanimously adopted in the 27th ARF Foreign Ministers’ meeting.