THE GUARDIAN – In an unexpected yet exciting turn of debate in the United Nations Security Council, member states have begun working together in one large group to come up with solutions to address the crisis in Myanmar.
Though the Security Council began with many polarizing opinions and disagreement, particularly between Bolivia and Russia and the US and UK, it seems disagreements and rhetoric have been temporarily put aside in order to work towards peace for the people of Myanmar.
Emphasis has been put on the Rohingya people who have recently been subject to what the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has described as “ethnic cleansing”, along with the “horrendous human suffering” condemned by the Nigerian Federal Government.
When last interviewed, member states had broken into smaller groups to come up with solutions and address different issues, to then work to join these ideas together to form a comprehensive, all-encompassing resolution.
Kazakhstan, France, China, and the UK worked together to make suggestions for a ceasefire.
Details are still in the works, but they hope this would include having this overseen by ASEAN who would report to the UN. Additionally, they suggested having a specified ceasefire zone, most likely suggesting it be situated within the Rakhine state.
Bolivia and Uruguay begun work together to address refugee resettlement for those who are presently fleeing violence in Myanmar. They hoped to model a program in part after the Solidarity Resettlement Program used in Latin America, which has previously resettled Palestinian refugees, among others.
Bolivia was optimistic about this suggestion. Previously, groups of refugees who were resettled have been in groups as small as 100, yet Bolivia emphasized that no matter how many refugees would be taken in, it would make a difference, saying “Even if it is just 200 people, that’s 200 lives that are safe now.”
200 though, is a low estimate. Bolivia guessed that if all 20 members of the Solidarity Resettlement Program agreed to this, there could be at least 200,000 refugees resettled, if not more. Still, Bolivia recognized that this was only a small chunk of the solution, “This is not a final solution,” the delegate said, “we can work together with other suggestions to…address the issue.”
Bolivia continued to emphasize the good that had come from the Solidarity Resettlement Program, especially for Palestinian refugees who have successfully been resettled in Latin America. They believe this could work well for Rohingyan refugees as well, emphasizing how any lives that can be saved, should be.
A group including Russia, Saudi Arabia, Japan, and Uruguay also suggested that aid be provided to Bangladesh, who have been burdened with thousands of refugees from Myanmar since the Rohingya crisis escalated.
Additionally, this group focussed on starting peace negotiations between Myanmar and the Rohingya peoples. They had ideas about positive incentives for Myanmar to encourage them to enter into peace talks, suggesting debt forgiveness for Myanmar should they enter into peace negotiations, and encouraging Myanmar to accept aid, particularly in the form of goods that can help the Rohingya people, and the citizens of Myanmar as a whole.
Additionally, suggestions were made that the Ukraine cease supplying arms to the military in Myanmar, which Ukraine had preliminarily agreed to.
Member states were quick to voice their satisfaction with what they had achieved so far, “[it is] remarkable we (the UK, China, France, and Kazakhstan) are all working together on this issue and have the veto power on the same side for once” said China. With the second day of the meeting of the Security Council beginning today, this collaboration may not last, yet the fact that this collaboration occured at all may be a sign of good things to come.