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Burma: Rohingya

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN HL2118, tabled on 17 October 2017

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to stop the forced deportation of the Rohingya community from Myanmar and to ensure their ongoing safety in Myanmar.

Answered on

31 October 2017

The UK has raised Burma three times at the UN Security Council (UNSC) since the outbreak of violence in August. 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 actively considering with other Council members further steps in this regard.

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. The Minister of State for Asia and the Pacific reiterated this call at the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation's ministerial meeting in the margins of the UN General Assembly on 19 September where the UK was praised for its humanitarian and political leadership in response to this crisis. The Minister of State for Asia and the Pacific also met Burma's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs at the UN on 20 September and State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi in Burma on 27 September and reiterated the same messages.

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. I also raised this crisis as part of our formal statement at the Human Rights Council.

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.