Statement by Norway on Asia and the Pacific (Agenda Item 3. (a) iv.)

Norway’s statement on the Rohingya Crisis during the regional updates on Asia and the Pacific (agenda item 3, (a), iv) of the 71st Meeting of the UNHCR Standing Committee.

Delivered by Alexandra Solheim.

Thank you, Chair.

Norway thanks UNHCR for the written and oral briefings on the key developments in Asia and the Pacific, and would like to make a few observations regarding the displacement of the Rohingya population.

We believe that Bangladesh is deserving of praise for its determination and solidarity in the face of the large-scale inflow from Myanmar. Norway has provided additional humanitarian assistance of 17 million US dollars for support to the Rohingya crisis since August 2017, of which 13 million went to response in Bangladesh.

It should be clear to all that the safe and dignified return of the Rohingya to their homes is the overarching goal.

It falls on the Military Leadership and the Government of Myanmar to ensure that the conditions for safe and dignified return are in place.

The scale of the crisis also necessitates close cooperation between the Government of Bangladesh, UNHCR and other international relief and development agencies, to protect and improve the conditions for the displaced population in the meantime.

Vulnerable groups such as children, persons with disabilities and victims of sexual and gender-based violence and other types of abuse must be included and prioritized. They must receive protection and assistance according to their specific needs.

Providing children and youth with education and a safe space will contribute to their immediate protection and well-being as well as to their long-term development and possibility to contribute to their communities.

We are pleased that UNHCR has taken a greater role, in accordance with its mandate and responsibilities.

Thank you.