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Statement by Ambassador Farukh Amil, Permanent Representative of Pakistan to UN Mission in Geneva, on behalf of OIC under general debate Agenda item 2 (36th Session of Human Rights Council) 12 September 2017

(2017-09-12) Mr. President,

On behalf of OIC Member States, let me at the outset thank the High Commissioner for his oral update. The OIC States believe that the work of the Office of the High Commissioner must be guided by the principles of universality, equal treatment of all human rights, non-politicization, and objective assessment of human rights situations. We urge that equitable geographical representation at all levels must be ensured in the OHCHR and Secretariat.

Mr. President,

2. The OIC Member States are seriously concerned at the indiscriminate and disproportionate use of force by Myanmar in reaction to the deplorable attacks of 25th of August. This use of force has resulted in an escalating human catastrophe of alarming proportions. More than 290,000 Rohingya Muslims have been forced to flee to Bangladesh and other neighbouring countries to take refuge. There are reports of unprecedented level of violence including widespread killings, rape, burning of houses, and unabated xenophobic and racial hatred perpetrated on civilian Rohingya Muslim population, including women and children which tantamount to ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. These could not be independently and credibly verified because the Fact Finding Mission has not yet been given access into Myanmar to carry out their mandate.

3. The OIC always desired constructive engagement with the Myanmar Government to address the growing humanitarian and political crises in its Rakhine State. However, our spirit of compromise and accommodation has proved fruitless. This has pushed the OIC group to reassess the whole situation. We put forward our following concerns in front of the Council and expect positive response from Myanmar Government:

i. OIC demands that the Myanmar Government immediately takes necessary measures to de-escalate the situation and ceases all atrocities against civilian Muslim Rohingya population and ensures their safety and security,

ii. OIC calls upon the Myanmar Government to respect its obligations under international law, international humanitarian law and human rights covenants and ensure that it acts in accordance with the rule of law and that all perpetrators of acts of violence be held accountable,

iii. OIC calls upon Myanmar Government to immediately allow the United Nations Fact Finding Mission access to perform its duties as per its mandate,

iv. OIC urges the Myanmar Government to eliminate the root causes of the crisis such as inequality, justice and citizenship affecting the Rohingya Minority. In this regard, the recommendations of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State must be expeditiously implemented and a time frame be defined for their implementation in true letter and spirit,

v. Myanmar Government must allow necessary humanitarian access for the Rohingya Muslim population in the Rakhine state,

vi. OIC calls upon international community to provide adequate humanitarian assistance to the affected Rohingya Muslim population in Myanmar as well as in Bangladesh territory,

vii. Myanmar Government must create favorable conditions for the sustainable return of Rohingya refugees from different countries to their homes.

Mr. President,

4. The ongoing ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslim population is unacceptable.

5. The OIC would work with all stakeholders to come up with initiatives both within and outside the Council to prevent crimes against humanity perpetrated by Myanmar forces, ensure sustainable return and rehabilitation of all refugees from Bangladesh and create conditions which are conducive to protection of lives and livelihoods of Rohingya Muslim population in Myanmar.

I thank you.