Minister of Foreign Affairs H E Dr. Mohamed Asim
at the OIC Contact Group Meeting on Rohingya Muslims
19 September 2017
بســم اللّـه الرّحمـن الرّحيــم
As I stand here today, millions of rohingya Muslims are fleeing the ongoing military operation in Rakhine state. Several villages are being burned down and dozens of Muslims, including women and children are getting tortured, raped and killed. Up to 370,000 people are now estimated to have been displaced and thousands more have been unaccounted for.
Yet, this is just the latest crisis to confront the rohingya Muslims. The civilians of Rohingya, have been suffering decades of human rights violations; violations of inalienable rights; violations of human dignity beyond measure. They are deprived of their basic rights; right to adequate food, water, shelter. They are denied the right to education, health and freedom of movement. They are dismissed of the right to a nationality and citizenship.
The Government of Maldives is deeply concerned over the continued acts of human rights violations and barbarous assaults against the Rohingya Muslims. Earlier this month, the Government of Maldives announced its decision to cease all trade ties with Myanmar, until the Government of Myanmar takes measures to prevent the atrocities being committed against Rohingya Muslims. In a nationwide effort to stand in solidarity with the people of Rohingya and as a token of assistance, the Government, the private sector and the people of Maldives is also conducting a series of fundraising telethons.
The Maldives also calls upon the international community to take immediate action against this genocide and ethnic cleansing. We urge the Myanmar Government to respect its obligations under international humanitarian laws, and to fully cooperate with UN Agencies, non-governmental organizations and all others to provide humanitarian assistance to the Rohingya population.
Let us hold onto the true values of Islam. This is the opportune time to take action. The Moment to join our hands, as brothers of Islam and demonstrate our solidarity, in resolving the catastrophe facing the Muslim world. Let us not keep these words in black and white. Let us pledge today to unite, utilize the resources we have, and to stop discriminatory apartheid policies against Muslim and other minority groups.
The Maldives is committed to make the world a more peaceful, more just, and a more sustainable place, where current and future generations can prosper. Hence, let me take this opportunity to reiterate our decision to compete for a non-permanent seat of the Asia Pacific Group, at the United Nations Security Council, for the first time in its 50 year membership. Through the last five decades at the UN, the Maldives has acted with far greater impacts than the country's size – whether it is contributing to matters of global peace and security, disarmament, counter terrorism and climate change. The Maldives is fully committed to providing shared solutions for a shared destiny, and we are confident that we can provide a unique and fresh perspective to old challenges.
We hope that we can count on your support for our inaugural candidacy to the Security Council.