South Korean Ambassador to Bangladesh Lee Jang-keun on Wednesday said the repatriation of the Rohingyas to their homeland with safety and dignity is the ultimate solution to the crisis.
“This (repatriation) should happen as early as possible,” he said, adding that South Korea has been working very closely with the international community, especially through international agencies to help resolve the Rohingya crisis as soon as possible.
While responding to a question at the “DCAB Talk” the ambassador said it is not just Bangladesh’s issue, rather it is a regional, also an international issue.
The South Korean envoy said it is one of the biggest global challenges today and they fully agree with those who believe that voluntary, dignified and sustainable repatriation of the Rohingyas to their homes in Rakhine is the ultimate solution.
Bangladesh is now hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas to Cox’s Bazar and Bhasan Char Island.
Ambassador Lee said it is not just a humanitarian crisis but also a human rights issue and they are providing humanitarian support to the Rohingyas and the host communities.
Responding to a question, the ambassador said South Korea has never abstained from voting when it comes to clearing any resolution in the UN Human Rights Council.
“We also cosponsored some of the resolutions,” he said, adding that they will continue to work with the government of Bangladesh and the international community to find the solution to the Rohingya crisis.
South Korea announced its plan to provide US$ 3.2 million in 2022 to support humanitarian assistance for the Rohingyas and their host communities in Bangladesh.
This year’s humanitarian assistance will be provided through international organizations such as UNHCR, IOM, WFP, UNICEF and IFRC operating in Cox’s Bazar and Bhasan Char.
Some portion of this year’s funding will be allocated to the refugees in Bhasan Char for the second year in a row.
South Korea has supported UN agencies’ operation in Bhasan Char since the inception of the relocation to the island in 2021.
A fair portion of this year’s assistance has been allocated to support host communities in Cox’s Bazar which were directly impacted by the refugee influx five years ago.
Since 2017, the government of South Korea has continued to provide US$ 4 to US$5 million annually to the Rohingyas and their host communities in Bangladesh in close cooperation with the Bangladesh government and international organizations, said the ambassador.
Diplomatic Correspondents Association, Bangladesh (DCAB) organized the event at Jatiya Press Club (JPC). DCAB President Rezaul Karim Lotus and its General Secretary AKM Moinuddin also spoke.