Saturday, 8 November 2014

“Rohingya Issue at a Global Scale” ARU-DG, Dr. Wakar Uddin, States at the Rohingya Event at Harvard University

Source ARU, 7 Nov

Pl see the video via the link here..

Cambridge, MA. The Harvard Global Equity Initiative (HGEI) in conjunction with FXB Center for Health and Human Rights, the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, and the Harvard University Asia Center convened a half-day conference on November 4, 2014 on the devastating–and worsening situation of Myanmar's Rohingya ethnic minority as evidence and research to identify a remedy for the deplorable situation faced by Rohingya community in Arakan state, Myanmar.

There were four panels, including "The Voice of Rohingya" where Maung Tun Khin, Daw Khin Hla, U Ba Sein, and Professor Dr. Wakar Uddin spoke. The session included two major themes: (1) Personal experience and situation on the ground in Arakan; and (2) The roles of international players, their impacts on the issue, and the major challenges in tackling the problem. Maung Tun Khin provided accounts of his personal experiences while growing up in Arakan with regards to basic human rights, and Daw Khin and U Ba Sein provided the background information on the Rohingya issue and the current situation on the ground. Dr. Wakar Uddin provided an international perspective describing roles of the major players such as OIC, US, the European Union, the United Nations, international NGOs, and Rohingya leadership inside Burma.

Dr. Wakar Uddin outlined the advances made by the international community, highlighting consistent messages from United Nations General Assembly, United States Congress, and United Nations Special Rapporteurs to Myanmar, and various NGOs. He spoke about the significance of the current UNGA Resolution on Rohingya and Burma, which is a country specific consensus resolution that has been sent to the Secretariat of the Third Committee at the United Nations General Assembly on October 31, 2014. Among the several demands in the UNGA resolution, Dr. Uddin laid strong emphasis on "Rohingya ethnic identity" and "equal access to full citizenship" that the resolution has clearly stated. He described the key obstacles faced by the international community in tackling the problem, particularly internal issues such as the radical elements within the Government of Burma and the system of government itself.  On the international issues, he outlined several obstacles such as premature lifting of the sanctions led by the Europeans, international euphoria over the democratic transition and investments/trades, some international lack of insights to convoluted military-political machinery, frequent mixed messages and lack of common strategy, little or no international access to all affected areas in Arakan, and ASEAN-Myanmar relations. Dr. Uddin also highlighted some much needed key strategies by the international community to effectively end the persecution of Rohingya through  concerted efforts such as sustaining and reinstating international sanctions, development of a comprehensive list of sanctioned Burmese officials, targeting the 1982 citizenship law, stepping up the demands for recognition of Rohingya ethnicity by the Government of Burma, pressuring ASEAN countries to be part of common international strategy, presence of international teams (NGOs and media) to all affected area in Arakan, and maintaining the momentum at OIC, United Nations, and U.S. Congress in bringing resolutions. "Reinstatement of citizenship of Rohingya is the central issue, and there is not going to be a good solution until the 1982 Citizenship Law is dismantled or seriously amended" Dr. Uddin stated.

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