Belfast Telegraph

Home News UK

Former UN ambassador issues call over Rohingya crisis

Samantha Power, who was US ambassador to the United Nations from 2013 to 2017, also said there is a lack of diplomacy surrounding the crisis.

The incentives for the Burmese government need to change if it is to stop “destroying” the Rohingya, a former UN ambassador has said.

Samantha Power, who was US ambassador to the United Nations from 2013 to 2017, also said there is a lack of diplomacy surrounding the crisis.

Speaking in Armenia at the Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity, the former adviser to Barack Obama said: “An entire people has been systematically murdered, raped and deported from their country.

“And no contact group has been formed, there has been no high level ministerial summit that I am aware of.

“There has been humanitarian systems, the United Nations Secretary General has used his voice, but if you actually want to change the calculus of a government that has decided to expel and destroy a group, which it looks like the Myanmar government and military have decided to do, you have to change the incentives for them.

“Right now they think the benefits of destroying the Rohingya population exceeds the costs.

“The only way that gets changed is through dealing with their sources of revenue, and through them feeling such concerted and sustained diplomatic pressure, not just from the UN secretary general, or the high commission for human rights, but from a coalition of diverse countries – the neighbours, bringing in China.”

Asked what needs to happen in order for the situation to change, Ms Power said: “Diplomacy and then changing the calculus of government which right now – like many governments around the world – feels a great sense of impunity.”

Rohingya Muslims have long been treated as outsiders in Burma, despite many of their families having lived in the country for generations.

They have been denied citizenship since 1982, effectively rendering them stateless, and forcing many to cross by land into neighbouring Bangladesh.

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph