IPU assembly in Russia includes Rohingya issue as ‘emergency item’

IPU assembly in Russia includes Rohingya issue as ‘emergency item’

SAM Staff,
The opening press conference for the 137th Assembly. Photo: IPU/W. Finh Ramsey

The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) overnight included as the top “emergency item” the Rohingya issue as proposed by Bangladesh while its 137th assembly is underway in Russia’s St. Petersburg, officials said on Monday (Oct 16).

“The IPU adopted three resolutions as ’emergency items’ for discussions in the assembly and of them the Bangladesh proposal on Rohingya issue was accepted receiving the highest 1027 votes,” a Bangladesh embassy official in Moscow told BSS by phone.

He said Bangladesh’s delegation leader and parliamentary deputy speaker Fazle Rabbi tabled the resolution titled “Stop atrocities and forced displacement of Rohingyas and ensure their return to their homeland in the Rakhine State of Myanmar immediately and unconditionally”.

Myanmar, he said, on the other hand, brought on its own a resolution for discussing rights situation in its Rakhine state visibly in an effort to negate the global condemnation about the atrocities there and it was accepted with only 47 votes.

The third resolution was brought by Japan on North Korea’s nuclear programme to be accepted with 427 votes.

The IPU, meanwhile, in a separate development denounced Myanmar expressing “grave” concern about the continuing violence, intimidation and forced displacement of the Rohingya Muslim minority from its Rakhine State.

“Reports of documented widespread cruelty against Rohingya children, women and men and the ensuing massive exodus into neighbouring Bangladesh are very disconcerting,” the IPU said quoting a joint statement by its President Saber Chowdhury and Secretary General Martin Chungong.

It said the IPU “condemn these human rights violations and stress the Myanmar State authorities’ responsibility to protect all the people living in the country”.

The statement asked being an IPU member the Myanmar parliament to make every effort to help bring this crisis to an end.

Russian President Vladimir Putin opened the IPU assembly on October 14 as it drew 2,000 parliamentary delegates from across the globe for focus discussions on overcoming intolerance, xenophobia and extremism.