Foreign Minister Abdul Momen called upon the international community to come forward with sincerity instead of giving only lip service for early repatriation of Rohingyas.
“I’ve an appeal. It demands leadership of the world. We must do something. We must provide them a future,” he said noting that the majority of 1.1 million Rohingyas living in Bangladesh is female or little girls.
The foreign minister made the appeal while addressing a discussion held at the Foreign Service Academy in the city on Monday.
Diplomatic Correspondents Association, Bangladesh (DCAB) arranged the discussion titled “Women in Diplomacy: How Are We Doing?” marking the International Women’s Day supported by Bangabandhu Research Centre for Foreign Policy and Diplomacy.
Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen spoke at the event as special guest while DCAB member Israt Zahan Urmi presented the keynote paper.
Secretary (East) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mashfee Binte Shams, UN Resident Coordinator Mia Seppo, Rector of the Foreign Service Academy, Syed Masud Mahmood Khundoker, Switzerland Ambassador to Bangladesh Nathalie Chuard, Ambassador of Sweden to Bangladesh Alexandra Berg von Linde, High Commissioner of Maldives to Bangladesh Shiruzimath Sameer, Director General of Public Diplomacy wing at MoFA Samia Halim, DCAB President Pantho Rahman and its General Secretary AKM Moinuddin spoke.
The foreign minister said this is not a time to do business as usual but the international community must come forward and send the Rohingyas back to Myanmar and reintegrate them in their society in Myanmar.
“I get very upset when I see these people who have no future. They are becoming hopeless and frustrated. They want to go back to Myanmar for a decent living,” he said.
The foreign minister said all the people involved in Rohingya issue and the international agencies instead of giving instructions to Bangladesh should be in Rakhine and do their jobs in Rakhine to create a conducive environment there.
He said imposing sanctions on one or two Myanmar generals are not enough as they do their business as usual.
Dr Momen said both trade and investment in Myanmar over the last four years after the genocide have increased three and half times to 15 times which is really shocking.
“Fifteen times! Can you believe it! A country that has violated human rights, did ethnic cleansing and can you promote them with trade and business and you talk about human rights?” he said.
The foreign minister said the organization that got peace prize for humanity they should feel ashamed they are not doing enough to repatriate these people, these distress people.
“Whether they are in Kutupalong or Bhasan Char is not important. It’s irrelevant. Relevant thing is they must go back to their homeland and have a decent future and a decent living,” he said.
The foreign minister said if they stay here for long, there is a possibility of the pockets of radicalism or extremism. “Terrorists have no boundary, no borders, and no faith. They’ll create a problem for the whole world. On this International Women’s Day, we should be more sensitive to the Rohingya women,” Dr Momen said.
Secretary (East) Mashfee Binte Shams was honored at the function for her role in promoting Bangladesh through her exceptional leadership in diplomacy.