Finding a Just and Equitable Solution to Rakhine’s Citizenship Crisis Essential for Long-term Peace and Prosperity in MyanmarOct 3, 2014
[New York, 3 October 2014]: Senior United Nations Humanitarian and Development officials said today they had seen appalling human suffering but also signs of hope during a recent visit to Rakhine State in Myanmar, where more than 1 million people have been rendered effectively stateless.
UN Assistant Secretary-General and UN Development Programme Regional Director for Asia Haoliang Xu and UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Director of Operations John Ging met displaced people and government officials during their visit.
Violent clashes in Rakhine in 2012 led to the displacement of 140,000 people into 68 camps and settlements for internally displaced people. More than 1 million people face discrimination and severe restrictions on their freedom of movement, seriously compromising their basic rights to food, health, education and livelihoods, while reinforcing their reliance on international humanitarian assistance.
“We need to scale up poverty eradication across Rakhine, with a particular focus on development solutions which promote peaceful co-existence,” said Mr. Xu. “Stability and peace can be achieved only when the needs of all communities are met.”
“Underdevelopment is a cause of the conflict, but it is clear that development alone is not enough,” said Mr. Ging. “Without a just and equitable solution to the citizenship crisis in Rakhine there will never be lasting peace and prosperity in Myanmar. This is a humanitarian crisis which has the potential to be resolved in a way which will stand as an international success story. We need to engage to ensure that this crucial opportunity is not missed.”
Mr. Xu and Mr. Ging said they had engaged with government officials at the national and local levels who expressed commitment to finding a solution to the crisis. They called on all United Nations agencies to engage in and support this process to help ensure that the outcome was just, equitable and promoted human rights for all.
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