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Burma: Rohingya

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN 108085, tabled on 16 October 2017

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to end the violence against Rohingya people in Myanmar; and what support the Government is providing to Bangladesh to support displaced Rohingya refugees.

Answered on

24 October 2017

The UK has raised Burma three times at the UN Security Council (UNSC) since the outbreak of violence. On 13 September, we secured the first agreed UNSC press elements on Burma in eight years, which called on the Burmese authorities to stop the violence and allow humanitarian access. The Security Council discussed Burma in an open session on 28 September. We are considering with other Council members what further steps are needed.

The Foreign Secretary convened a meeting of foreign ministers at the UN on 18 September which echoed the Security Council's call for an end to the violence. I reiterated this call at the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation's ministerial meeting on 19 September where the UK was praised for its humanitarian and political leadership in response to this crisis.

The UK supported the UN Human Rights Council's decision in September to extend the mandate of its Fact-Finding Mission to Burma to cover the recent outbreak of violence in Rakhine.

The Foreign Secretary represented the UK at the EU Foreign Affairs Council on 16 October, securing agreement by member states to the suspension of all Burmese military visits to the EU and a review of all defence cooperation, and to consider additional measures if the situation in Rakhine does not improve. This followed the UK's lead in suspending co-operation with the Burmese military announced by the Prime Minister in September.

The UK is the largest bilateral donor in Bangladesh supporting displaced Rohingya refugees and the vulnerable communities which host them. DFID has worked for a number of years in Cox's Bazar, and has stepped up efforts since the latest wave of Rohingya arrived in Bangladesh from Burma following the outbreak of violence in Rakhine on 25 August. DFID has committed an additional £42 million to support the latest influx of refugees from Rakhine with the most recent tranche of £12m, which I announced at a UN pledging conference in Geneva on 23rd October, and will match £5 million of UK public donations to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) emergency appeal.