Statement by First Deputy Permanent Representative Dmitry Polyanskiy at the UN Security Council Meeting on Myanmar
We thank Special Envoy of the Secretary-General on Myanmar Christine Schraner Burgener for a detailed briefing on the situation in the country. On the whole we share your assessments and support the commitment to continue shuttle diplomacy.
We invariably proceed from the assumption, that the settlement in Myanmar, including return of IDPs and humanitarian aspects should proceed in a constructive and depoliticized spirit, and base on bilateral interaction between Myanmar and Bangladesh in the first place.
We highlight that international assistance should be provided to both Myanmar and Bangladesh, be neutral and respect sovereignty of the two countries.
We count on continuation of the dialogue between Myanmar and Bangladesh, i.a. with assistance of Special Envoy on Myanmar C. Schraner Burgener, all the constructive sides and UN agencies who act according to their mandates. We are pleased to note that the recent trip of the Special Envoy to the region was generally constructive. Christine, you were absolutely in saying that we need to build bridges instead of burning them. You can count on our full support in this endeavor and in building confidence and supporting the direct dialogue between Dhaka and Naypyidaw.
We welcome the commitment of Myanmar to build constructive cooperation with ASEAN. We believe this regional organization can play a positive role. A delegation of ASEAN Secretariat and ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance visited Rakhine early in February. Soon ASEAN – Emergency Response and Assessment Team (ASEAN-ERAT) will start its operation. We are in full support of these efforts.
Independent inquiry commission established in Naypyidaw to probe human rights violations in Rakhine is also gaining momentum. End of January the foreign members of the Commission (Chairman Rosario Manalo of the Philippines and Kenzo Oshima of Japan) visited Myanmar. We appreciate that the Commission, as Special Envoy has just highlighted, does not reject dialogue with other international establishments.
The ceasefire that was proclaimed by the military commando on December 21, is still effective and will last until April 30. As far as we are informed, the authorities are ready to maintain peaceful dialogue with the Arakan Army should it abandon its separatist claims.
The issues of peaceful coexistence in Rakhine of various ethnic and religious groups, including the issues of citizenship, freedom of movement, access to social assets, etc. should be solved in the spirit of recommendations of K.Annan Commission and according to the national legislation of Myanmar.
For our part, we advocate balanced and non-confrontational approach to discussing the situation in the country and searching for ways to normalize the humanitarian situation in Rakhine State, including the situation with IDPs.
We commend the work of the authorities in Myanmar who seek to implement recommendations of K.Annan Commission for the purpose of complex crisis settlement. We would like to avail of the presence of Foreign Minister of Bangladesh in this room and express our gratitude to hospitality and patience of the authorities and people of Bangladesh, whose efforts to provide basic supplies to the refugees should be actively supported by everyone.
We also highly assess steps taken to develop the infrastructure for receiving and accommodating future repatriates in Rakhine State.
We are convinced that the solution to the problem of refugees can only be found in the domain of bilateral relations between Myanmar and Bangladesh. The parties have effective legal base and coordination mechanisms, which makes it possible to take practical steps in this area. We believe it counterproductive to artificially postpone the launch of repatriation. We do not support attempts to politicize this topic. Such action would not bring Rohingya people closer to getting back to Myanmar. We call upon UN officials who work on the ground not to forget about it. Your professionalism and impartiality matter a lot.
At the present stage, we should prioritize international cooperation aimed at managing the most urgent humanitarian aftermaths of the crisis.
We should not forget that the problems that exist in Rakhine are deeply rooted, multifaceted and complex. They can be solved only by peaceful political and diplomatic means, by establishing dialogue between Naypyidaw and Dhaka, representatives of all ethnicities and confessions.
We stand ready to continue our assistance to the authorities of Myanmar and Bangladesh in order to regulate the situation around Rakhine State in the spirit of equality and mutual respect. We reiterate our appeal to the Council and the powers of the region to act in a responsible and reserved manner to prevent recurring escalation.
In conclusion, we would like to express gratitude to our friends from Equatorial Guinea whose presidency terminates today. Your efforts have been intense and productive. We wish every success to our French friends who start their “shift” as President of the UN Security Council tomorrow.
Thank you for your attention.