Date: 17 Jun 2015

Rohingya issue: OIC MEETING ADOPTS PAKISTAN’S PROPOSALS

New York—A meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) held at UN headquarters in New York on Monday unanimously approved a Pakistani proposal to bring into greater focus the plight of Myanmar’s persecuted Rohingya Muslims in a bid to give a push to efforts aimed at restoring their human rights.

The ambassadors’ meeting discussed the situation of the beleaguered Rohingya community at the request of Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN, Maleeha Lodhi, who opened the discussion by underscoring the urgency of the issue and the need to evolve a “collective response to this great tragedy.”

Kuwait’s Ambassador to the UN Mansour A. Al-Otaibi, the current chairman of the OIC at the UN, presided. OIC delegates welcomed Ambassador Lodhi’s proposal that, as a first step, a delegation of the OIC meet UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and apprise him of their serious concern over the oppression of Rohingyas who have been forced into risking their lives by crossing the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea to seek refuge in Malaysia and Indonesia.

The meeting also approved the Pakistani envoy’s proposal, adopted by foreign ministers of Islamic countries in Kuwait earlier this month, be sent to UN Security Council President for its circulation as a document of the 15-member council.

That resolution underlined that the current crisis cannot be fully resolved through humanitarian action alone, and called on the government of Myanmar to restore the citizenship rights of its Rohingya minority.

her remarks, Ambassador Lodhi said that the root cause of the Rohingya problem lay in the persistent denial of their fundamental human rights and liberties, including the right to citizenship.

“Subjected to systematic discrimination, restrictions on freedom of movement and practice of religion, constraints on property rights as well as access to education and health, they are certainly one of the world’s most persecuted minorities,” she said.

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