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6 December 201714:01

Remarks by a representative of the Russian Federation at a special session of the UN Human Rights Council on the human rights situation of Rohingya population in Myanmar, Geneva, December 5, 2017

2351-06-12-2017

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Mr President,

We share concerns over the tensions in Rakhine State (RS) and the emerging threat of a humanitarian crisis, which was provoked by the terrorist attacks of militants from the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army. We strongly condemn their terrorist attacks.

At the same, we are satisfied that the security situation in the north of Rakhine State has recently started to stabilise. This is borne out by a reduction in military personnel deployed in Rakhine State as part of the special operation, which was announced on October 27.

We are urging all parties to refrain from actions which may lead to further degradation of the situation and continue the constructive dialogue at all levels without politicising it. This is the only possible way to comprehensively resolve the complicated problem of the Muslim minority in Myanmar. Russia supports efforts to facilitate inter-faith interaction in this country involving the spiritual leaders of all faiths.

We positively view measures undertaken by the Myanmar leadership to create conditions for a peaceful co-existence of all ethnic and religious communities in Rakhine State and the preparations to receive people seeking to return to their original place of residence.

We proceed from our belief that the country’s authorities are stepping up activities to prevent the escalation of violence, restore law and order across the country, create normal socioeconomic conditions and settle the refugee problem.

Russia welcomes the Myanmar government’s steps towards delivering on the recommendations of the Consultative Commission led by the former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and the signing last month of the agreement between Myanmar and Bangladesh on the repatriation of displaced persons in Rakhine State.

We believe that the first thing that an agreed settlement of the situation around the mass movement of the population across the border between Myanmar and Bangladesh requires is the goodwill of both countries. Unfortunately, unless steps are taken towards meeting one another halfway, this problem, the roots of which go back to the colonial administration of the last century, cannot be resolved. The role that the international community, including the UN Human Rights Council, can play in this process is to facilitate bilateral efforts to overcome the crisis and its consequences and in no way undermine them.

The Russian Federation still seriously doubts that the holding of the Human Rights Council special session meets this criterion.

Thank you for your attention.

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