Statement by India at the 40th Session of the Human Rights Council (25 February – 22 March 2019): under Agenda 4: Interactive Dialogue with SR on Human Rights in Myanmar, delivered by Ambassador Rajiv K. Chander, Permanent Representative of India [Geneva, 11 March 2019]

Statement by India at the 40th Session of the Human Rights Council

(25 February – 22 March 2019): under Agenda 4: Interactive Dialogue with SR on Human Rights in Myanmar, delivered by Ambassador Rajiv K. Chander, Permanent Representative of India [Geneva, 11 March 2019]

Mr. President,

India thanks the Special Rapporteur for presentation of her report which makes extensive recommendations regarding legislative and policy actions to be taken by Myanmar. It is important to recognize limits to capacity in Myanmar’s system, bearing in mind its evolving democracy, developing institutional capacities and its engagement in the last two decades with the region and the world.

3. Mr. President.

As to the Rakhine, the international community should be making a stronger effort to help create conditions for the sustainable, safe and speedy return of all displaced communities. This is the reason why India is building houses; and has offered socio-economic development assistance including for community structures and livelihood support.

4. Our experience suggests that it is vital to promote an engagement-based effort to address the root causes of socio-economic conflict in the Rakhine State, to facilitate the speedy return of displaced persons. Threatening Myanmar with punitive action, including at the ICC to which that State is not a signatory, will only be counter-productive.

5. Bangladesh cannot indefinitely host nearly one million displaced people. As the only country that is neighbour to both Bangladesh and Myanmar, India is doing all it can to ameliorate Bangladesh’s burden too. We have delivered four separate tranches of aid in the last 18 months amounting to nearly US$ 2 mn and a further tranche of assistance is planned. However, the strain on Bangladesh’s socio-economic system is far too great and thanking them for their generosity is not enough. We need to help resolve the problem.

6. As to the persons repatriated to Myanmar, this has been done following a judicial process, including in some cases at the instance of the Supreme Court of India. Their repatriation has been arranged in accordance with the law and after verification by the Government of Myanmar.

7. It is important that the HRC´s approach takes the right tone. It is instructive that the Special Envoy of the Secretary General has not only been able to visit Myanmar 5 times in 9 months, but has also opened an office in Nay Pyi Taw. Building trust is key to helping address the problem.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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