Dhaka wants non-OIC nations to address refugee problemsUnited News of Bangladesh . Dhaka
The foreign minister, Dipu Moni, has made some concrete proposals at an OIC ministerial meeting in Turkmenistan to address the refugee problems facing by the Muslim countries across the world.
She put forward the proposals at the inaugural session of the two-day OIC ministerial meeting that began in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan on Friday, according to a message received in Dhaka on Saturday.
A high-level Bangladesh delegation, led by the foreign minister, is attending the meeting titled ‘Refugees in the Muslim World’.
The meeting is the first of its kind under the aegis of the OIC where UN High Commissioner for Refugees is one of the co-organisers.
The meeting focuses on the overwhelming number of Muslim refugees and those being hosted in the Muslim countries amidst a myriad of the host countries’ domestic challenges.
Dipu Moni underscored the need for international dialogues and engagement with the non-OIC countries, addressing the root causes of protracted refugee situation, strengthening the principle of international burden sharing, especially in protracted refugee situation, and considering the shrinking global space for asylum and a growing trend of asylum fatigue.
She also mentioned that the refugee problem imposes disproportionately heavy burdens on host countries that were mostly developing countries or LDCs like Bangladesh.
The foreign minister emphasised the importance of engaging the host countries in decision-making and gap analysis relating to refugee protection, saying their financial and associated economic contributions should be accounted for in the ‘official’ discourse on protection.
While stressing the need for UNHCR to take the lead role in the dialogue, she observed that the OIC could be a political partner in that dialogue.
In her statement, Dipu Moni highlighted the issue of Myanmar refugees being hosted in Bangladesh for the last two decades although Bangladesh was not a party to the 1951 Refugee Convention or the 1967 Protocol.
Dipu Moni met her Turkmen counterpart Rashid Meredov on the sidelines of the OIC meeting and discussed issues like cooperation in energy, textile and agriculture sectors.
Bangladesh proposed concluding a memorandum of understanding to have an assured supply of cotton from Turkmenistan. Both the foreign ministers agreed to further explore avenues for strengthening the bilateral relations.
They also agreed to work towards formalising the process of consultation between the two foreign ministries on various issues. It was agreed that visits at higher levels should take place to strengthen the relations.
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