UN chief calls for action on Myanmar and DPRK
NEW YORK 15 September 2017: United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, reiterated his call for Muslims from Myanmar’s Rakhine state to be granted nationality or at least a legal status that would allow them to lead a normal life, while also urging the international community to help provide assistance for the nearly 380,000 people who have fled into Bangladesh.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, was among the first to send urgent relief to the refugees as early as last Tuesday.
Sheikh Mohammed ordered a B747-400 private aircraft to transport humanitarian aid to alleviate the suffering of the refugees in Kutupalong camp in Bangladesh, said Wam.
According to the UN News Centre, the Secretary-General said, “I call on the Myanmar authorities to suspend military action, end the violence, uphold the rule of law, and recognise the right of return of all those who had to leave the country,” during his first press conference since the opening of the 72nd session of the General Assembly.
Guterres repeated his call for “an effective action plan” to address the root causes of the situation, which he said he been left to fester for decades and has now escalated beyond Myanmar’s borders, destabilising the region.
“The humanitarian situation is catastrophic,” he said, noting that at the time of his briefing to the press last week, there were 125,000 Rohingya who had fled into Bangladesh. That number has now tripled to nearly 380,000 and people are arriving hungry and malnourished and having to find shelter in makeshift settlements or with host communities.
The humanitarian community has this week launched a US$77 million appeal to aid some of the stateless refugees for the next three months.
Also in yesterday’s press briefing, Mr. Guterres reiterated his call for a political solution to the situation in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, DPRK.
He said that nuclear and missile tests by the county created “great instability and tension” on the Korean peninsula, throughout the region and beyond.
“Unity in the Security Council is critical. This week’s unanimous adoption of a new resolution sends a clear message that the DPRK must comply fully with its international obligations,” Mr. Guterres said, referring to new sanctions, which among other measures, limit the imports of crude oil and oil products, ban textile exports, and prevent new visas for DPRK workers overseas.
Mohammed orders urgent aid
DUBAI: His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, ordered a B747-400 private aircraft to transport humanitarian aid to alleviate the suffering of the refugees in Kutupalong camp in Bangladesh.
The move comes in support of efforts by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The Bangladesh-bound aircraft has been loaded with more than 100 metric tonnes of tents made available by UNHCR with the support of Dubai’s International Humanitarian City (IHC); IHC made all adequate preparations for an efficient and fast response through providing the warehouses, coordinating airlifts, and arranging for easy and fast track access.
This airlift requested by UNHCR via IHC responds to the needs of 8355 refugees from 1671 families who fled to the northern Rakhine state. The shipment has a total value of USD 733,569 (AED 2,694,472); the airlift cost is USD 225,00 (826,470 AED)
An estimated 370,000 Rohingya refugees sought safety in Bangladesh according to UN reports; scores of people are reported to have died, in addition to several thousand people who have been waiting to cross the border fleeing the large-scale violence in the Myanmar. The estimated number of Rohingyas already living in refugee camps in Bangladesh now stands at more than 500,000 and the limited shelter capacity is already exhausted.
This is the second aircraft of humanitarian aid UNHCR has sent to Bangladesh last Sunday; the first relief cargo carried 91 metric tonnes of relief items to respond to the needs of 175 000 people. It was also loaded with jerricans, sleeping mats, tarps, blankets, and kitchen sets from the humanitarian aid items stocked in the warehouses of UNHCR at the International Humanitarian City.