UN says international role needed in Rakhine
Knut Ostby, UN resident and humanitarian coordinator, says Myanmar needs to work with the international community on developing Rakhine.
THE Myanmar government needs to work with the international community to resolve the turmoil in Rakhine State, Knut Ostby, UN resident humanitarian coordinator in Myanmar, said.
He said the government and the international community can help outline the sequence and timing of actions to implement the recommendations of the Kofi Annan-led Advisory Commission on Rakhine State, such as identifying “who can help with what.”
“To help with their implementation, it would be useful to have government and international community cooperation in all sectors and all areas of Rakhine,” Ostby said.
The government, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) signed an agreement this year to cooperate on programmes to alleviate the causes of the humanitarian crisis in Rakhine.
Under the deal, the UNHCR will assist the government in the implementation of voluntary repatriation and reintegration of all returnees as well as the assessment of potential pilot projects to benefit and ensure the peaceful coexistence of all communities.
According to the UNHCR, some work is being done through bilateral programmes, in cooperation with the Red Cross, the World Food Programme (WFP), and other development agencies. The UNHCR has also conducted assessments in 23 villages in northern Rakhine that were approved by the government.
“Clearly, the timeline will have to recognise that not all of the 88 recommendations can be achieved at once, but the ambition to implement them all should be the work plan’s central organising idea,” Ostby said.
U Win Myat Aye, minister of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement, said the committee overseeing the implementation of the recommendations has been doing a good job in ensuring that all communities benefit, that social cohesion is maintained, and that everyone can earn a living.
“We welcome the international community’s eagerness to cooperate with the government on Rakhine, and we will act on their positive suggestions,” he said.
The Annan commission presented its report containing 88 recommendations on actions the government can take to improve the situation in Rakhine in August 2017. The government says it has carried out 81 of the recommendations.
The commission emphasised economic and social development, citizenship, freedom of movement, human rights and access to justice.