UN says in­ter­na­tional role needed in Rakhine

The Myanmar Times - Weekend - - Front Page - NYAN LYNN AUNG nyan­lin­[email protected]­times.com

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.

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