Statement delivered by Michelle McGillivray, Acting Permanent Representative, 30 June 2020

Madam President, 

New Zealand supports the efforts by the Government of Myanmar and our international partners in addressing the complex human rights and humanitarian situation.

We recognize the steps taken by the Government of Myanmar to comply with the January 2020 ruling of the International Court of Justice in relation to the Rohingya people, but we are concerned that there has been little on the ground progress.

We note with concern the continuing plight of the many thousands of Rohingya people and other minority groups living in refugee and Internally Displaced Persons Camps, displaced both by ongoing violence across the country and discrimination. 

While we recognise the Government’s efforts to develop an Internally Displaced Persons Camp Closure Strategy, we remain concerned that the conditions required for the safe, voluntary, and sustainable return and reintegration are not in place. Issues of protection, livelihoods, freedom of movement and access to citizenship must be resolved. We are also concerned by reports of the forcible relocation of Internally Displaced Persons Camps, and of those voluntarily returning to Rakhine State being prevented from returning to their homes.

Reports of serious breaches of humanitarian law including attacks against civilians and humanitarian actors across Rakhine State and Southern Chin State must also be addressed. We reiterate our call on the Government of Myanmar to hold perpetrators to account, and to address the significant humanitarian situation in the country. New Zealand stands ready to provide support in these regards.  

Thank you Madam President.