Dhaka, June 20 (UNB) -Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Thursday said the international community must take strong resolve to ensure that Myanmar is held accountable for this gross violation of human rights.
"Otherwise the spirit and value of the Geneva conventions would continue to be undermined," he said while addressing a seminar at BIISS auditorium in the city as the chief guest.
The daylong seminar helped shape the debate and discussions around the Geneva Conventions which celebrate their 70th anniversary on the 12th of August this year.
The event titled "70th Anniversary of Geneva Conventions” was jointly organized by the Diplomatic Correspondents Association, Bangladesh (DCAB) and the ICRC in Dhaka.
Head of the ICRC delegation in Bangladesh Ikhtiyar Aslanov, DCAB President Raheed Ejaz and general secretary Nurul Islam Hasib, among others, spoke.
The Foreign Minister said Bangladesh, having suffered the worst forms of war crimes and crimes against humanity, has remained deeply committed to international humanitarian laws (IHL).
"Our commitment is reflected in our hosting of the Rohingyas and ensuing basic services in Bangladesh," he said.
The Foreign Minister mentioned that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has taken such a bold decision due to her own pledge to humanitarian principles.
"We have also provided unfettered access to all humanitarian actors so that the victims are provided with their necessities and comfort," he added.
Prime Minister’s proposal to establish safe zone within Rakhine is also premised upon her respect for humanitarian principles of safety, security and dignity, he said.
DrMomen said the most glaring example of Bangladesh’s contribution to humanitarian law is its participation in the UN peacekeeping operations.
Bangladeshi peacekeepers for the last three decades have not only been saving loves of millions to civilians in conflict torn areas, they have been praised for their proactive interventions in protecting civilians and providing them with humanitarian support.
To promote humanitarian law in general and the Geneva conventions in particular, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has established a national committee on International Humanitarian Law (IHL).
The Committee is working on the implementation of the Geneva conventions in Bangladesh including drafting legislations pursuant to those conventions.
He said they are painfully aware that respect for humanitarian law has been descending causing further humanitarian crisis. "Take the example of Myanmar. They have claimed that the Combing operation in Rakhine States was intended counter terrorist threats posed by so called ARSA."
And that resulted into forced displacement of over a million innocent civilians, DrMomen mentioned.
"Not only that the international reports including those from the UN suggest the Rohingyas were subjected to mass atrocity crimes and worst form of human rights violations in Myanmar. They have laid mines to prevent return of the displaced Rohingyas," he said.
Even today, Dr Momen said the Rohingyas continue to flee their homes to save themselves from forced starvation and deprivation of livelihood. It is not only Muslims both Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus and other Rohingyas are being forced out of their traditional homes and jobs.