Ambassador Joanna Wronecka of Poland, UN Security Council president for May, has said that the world body must act when Rohingya refugees are suffering. She made the remarks on Thursday here after visiting Myanmar Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh earlier this week, Xinhua news agency reported. “So, when you see the people suffering we have to act,” she told reporters at the UN headquarters during a monthly briefing on the council’s program of work. “The main question is how to help.” Wronecka said the Security Council would meet on May 14 for a formal briefing on the situation. She said it was possible the panel “may adopt a PRST” (it carries the weight of international law), since “we are united, definitely committed to doing something…”
“It is difficult to live in the camps,” she said. “The conditions are extremely difficult because in Bangladesh due to the monsoon season there is always a risk for raining,…” The Monsoon has already started and have caused flooding in some areas, threatening the spread of disease and impeding the distribution of humanitarian aid. “I had the chance to speak especially to women because they are the most affected with the children…,” said a visibly moved Wronecka. “But the refugees cannot stay for ever. It was obvious. So the question is how to help them return to their place of origin.”
The Warsaw envoy said members of the panel of 15 then met with Myanmar State Councilor Aung Sang Su Kyi. Bangladesh and Myanmar had signed an agreement on the return of refugees. However, the UN has been saying refugees should only return voluntarily when they are ready to go where they want to go in a dignified manner. “We see a possibility more for the role of different UN agencies to help.” She particularly singled out the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
More than 670,000 ethnic Muslim Rohingya have fled northern Rakhine State since August 25, 2017. A PRST is a step below a resolution, which is read out by the president in a formal Security Council meeting and becomes an official document of the world organisation.