ON THE PLIGHT OF THE ROHINGYA: SOLUTION?
17 SEPTEMBER 2012
The “International Conference on the Plight of the Rohingya: Solution ” was convened by the Perdana Global Peace Foundation (PGPF), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 17 September 2012.
The Conference was attended by participants comprising representatives from the diplomatic corps, international organisations, parliamentarians, human rights groups, academia, civil society, non-governmental organisations and media, as well as leaders of Rohingya organisations from several countries.
YABhg Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the fourth Prime Minister of Malaysia and President of PGPF, delivered the Keynote Speech.
Other prominent Speakers included as in the appendix.
We, the undersigned organisations and undersigned participants of the Conference;
Acknowledging the minority Muslim Rohingya are an ethnic group numbering more than 1 million presently residing in the Rakhine state of Myanmar,
Recognising that Rohingyas have been living in Myanmar for centuries and had been recognised as full-fledged citizens of the state of Burma (Myanmar) by previous governments of Burma, the international community and the authorities during the British colonial period.
Mindful of the decision of the government of Myanmar to effectively strip the Rohingyas of citizenship under the 1982 Citizenship Law,
Observing with serious concern that the Rakhine Buddhist community and in particular the Rohingya Muslim community suffered from sectarian violence that erupted in Rakhine State in June 2012,
Observing the current tragic situation facing the Rohingya including violent acts of oppression and human rights violations by state security forces, widespread discrimination by the dominant ethnic Burman society, threats to their security by hostile local Rakhine populations, and continued statelessness that makes them highly vulnerable to abuses,
Concerned over the thousands of displaced and stateless Rohingyas living in Bangladesh, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Australia, India, Japan, Pakistan, the Middle East and throughout the world,
Gravely concerned that the government of Myanmar has failed to observe its responsibility to fulfil its international human rights and humanitarian obligations with respect to the Rohingyas
Fully cognisant of systematic crimes against the Rohingya community such as killings, forced labour, rape, and denial of access to adequate humanitarian aid,
Echoing the various concerns about the mistreatment and fate of the Rohingya held by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and citizens concerned with global humanitarian issues,
Noting with disappointment the absence of a comprehensive solution in addressing the plight of the Rohingya,
Seriously concerned with the consequences of a prolonged non-resolution of the Rohingya issue including the segregation of displaced Rohingya in the Rakhine state capital of Sittwe, the continued lack of humanitarian access and sufficient aid to displaced Rohingya, and spill-over effects on neighbouring South Asian and ASEAN member countries,
Recognising the political and ethno-religious nature of the issue and human rights dimensions that require determined action by Myanmar’s leadership with the support of the people,
Unequivocally agree to;
Strongly condemn the continuing acts of violence, rape, beatings, burning of dwellings, killings, arbitrary arrests, detentions and enforced disappearances of the Rohingya,
Strongly deplore all forms of oppression, suppression, persecution, discrimination, intimidation and severe restrictions against the Rohingya on the grounds of ethnicity and religion,
Call on the government of Myanmar to recognise the legitimate rights of the Rohingyas to live in peace, to move freely within the country, and create conditions for the safe and voluntary return of displaced Rohingya to their homes or alternative locations of their choosing without persecution or discrimination including respect for the rights to shelter, food, water, health care, education and basic sanitation according to international human rights law, norms and standards,
Call on the government of Myanmar to amend the 1982 Citizenship Act to recognise or grant citizenship to persons of Rohingya ethnicity on the same basis as others with genuine and effective links to Myanmar by reasons such as birth, residency or descent, and treat them as equal citizens under International and Burmese Law. Ensure, in accordance to Article 7 of the convention on the Rights of the Child, that Rohingya children have the right to acquire a nationality where otherwise they would be stateless,
Strongly urge the government of Myanmar to stabilise the situation in the Rakhine state and to take the necessary administrative actions to protect, safeguard and uphold the lives, dignity and property of the Rohingyas as well as legally recognising them as one of Myanmar’s ethnic groups on the same basis as other ethnic group,
Call upon the government of Myanmar to carry out full and fair investigations and, where warranted, conduct trials meeting international due process standards against those individuals and state security forces who were responsible for criminal offenses, including rape, killings, arson and looting, during sectarian violence in Rakhine state,
Take note of the government of Myanmar’s decision to establish a 27- member Commission to probe the sectarian violence and recommend steps to resolve the crisis,
Welcome the government of Myanmar’s decision to allow diplomatic missions, independent observers and fact-finding teams including those from the OIC, ASEAN and the Perdana Global Peace Foundation to visit Rakhine state to ascertain the situation affecting the Rohingya,
Urge the government of Myanmar to recognise the multi-ethnic reality of the country and that its failure to resolve the Rohingya problem will undermine its current reform and progress towards national reconciliation, democracy and prosperity,
Call on Aung San Syu Kyi and the National League for Democracy Party as well as other political parties to promote ethnic rights and equality in Myanmar and take an unequivocal and proactive role in ending the plight of the Rohingyas,
Request the governments of Bangladesh and other destination countries to provide temporary protection to the Rohingya and to allow the international community to provide food and other humanitarian assistance to them pending a political solution of the Rohingya problem,
Urge ASEAN, to play a more proactive, substantive and effective role in resolving the Rohingya problem in the interest of regional peace and stability,
Call on Muslim groups and communities to show due solidarity and exert pressure on their governments, UN agencies civil and faith – based societies to actively support the rights of the Rohingya,
Strongly encourage ASEAN and OIC’s efforts in bringing up the Rohingya issue to the 67th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York,
Call on the UN to facilitate the establishment of a ‘cordon sanitaire’ for internally displaced Rohingyas to provide a safe and humane environment for the victims pending the attainment of a political solution,
Convey a copy of the Resolution to the Prime Minister of Malaysia, President of Myanmar, the Secretary General of ASEAN, the Secretary General of the OIC and the Secretary General of the United Nations.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
17 September 2012