Momen seeks ARF support in solving Rohingya crisis

Foreign Minister Dr. AK Abdul Momen today sought support from ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Regional Forum (ARF) member countries in solving the Rohingya crisis to minimize the impact on climate in the region.

   “Sacrificing 6800 acres of her sovereign forest land (for
sheltering Rohingyas), Bangladesh is not in a position to shoulder the
burden for an indefinite period,” he said.

   The foreign minister was delivering a speech at the 28th Meeting of
ARF, virtually held today hosted by Negara Brunei Darussalam, the
current Chair of the ARF under the theme “We Care, We Prepare, We

   In spite of not being a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention
nor its 1967 Protocol still, Dr Momen said Bangladesh is providing
shelter to the 1.1 million Rohingyas considering humanitarian ground

   The Bangladesh foreign minister emphasized on collective efforts by
the ASEAN leaders in tackling challenges faced by this region.

   Presenting an overview of Bangladesh’s role in tackling Covid-19,
he emphasized that vaccines need to be a public good and its
technology should be shared and available to all countries to produce
it at an affordable price.

   Momen assured of Bangladesh’s continuous support to the ARF
initiatives while appraising the forum how Bangladesh is playing role
in dealing with climate challenges.

   He called for united action by the leaders to accelerate
implementation of the Paris Agreement to advance global climate

   Momen and other Foreign Ministers had a substantive exchange of
views on possible areas of collaboration and cooperation Rohingya
refugee crisis, climate change, nuclear proliferation, cyber security
and other regional issues.

   ARF Member States including Australia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia,
New Zealand, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Singapore, USA and the
European Union agreed on solving Rohingya issue as soon as possible.

   They urged upon safe, sustainable and dignified repatriation of
Rohingyas to their homeland.

   Bangladesh foreign minister marked disarmament as a hallmark of

Bangladesh’s peace-centric foreign policy.

   Mandated by constitutional obligation of seeking complete
disarmament as well as settling disputes through peaceful means,
Bangladesh has always intentionally restrained from arms race and
armament, he said.

   As a member of the UN Security Council for two terms during
1979-1980 and 2000-2001, Momen said, Bangladesh was particularly
active and visible in international disarmament efforts, reaffirming
its strong commitment to the adherence of international disarmament
norms, treaties and instruments, he added.

  ASEAN is a multilateral regional platform that aspires to accelerate
economic growth, social progress and cultural development in the
region and promote regional peace and stability through abiding
respect for justice and the rule of law in the relationship among

   Foreign Ministers, Deputy Foreign Ministers and other delegates of
the 27 ARF Member States participated in today’s meeting that was
chaired by Brunei Foreign Minister Dato Erywan Pehin Yousof.

   The meeting ended with issuance of the “Chairman’s Statement of the
28th ARF”.

   Established in 1994, the ARF is an important platform for security
dialogue in the Indo-Pacific to enhance peace in the region.

   It comprises 27 members: the 10 ASEAN member states – Brunei,
Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore,
Thailand and Vietnam; the 10 ASEAN dialogue partners – Australia,
Canada, China, the European Union, India, Japan, New Zealand, the
Republic of Korea, Russia and the United States; Bangladesh, the
Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Mongolia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka,
and Timor-Leste; and one ASEAN observer – Papua New Guinea.