News Focus - Indonesia continues to encourage repatriation of Rohingya people by Aditya e.

News Focus - Indonesia continues to encourage repatriation of Rohingya people by Aditya e.

Indonesian foreign minister Retno Marsudi (ANTARA FOTO/Aprillio Akbar)

New York (ANTARA News) - Indonesia and the international community continue to encourage Myanmar and Bangladesh to create concrete progress on the repatriation of Rohingya refugees.

The Rohingya crisis still remains one of the issues raised at the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in New York.

"Today, the issue of the situation in Myanmar will still be discussed in several groups. When there are issues related to Myanmar, Indonesia is always asked to contribute," Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi noted on the sidelines of the UNGA in New York on Tuesday.

Several foreign ministers from friendly countries, such as the United Kingdom, Norway, Sweden, Australia, Malaysia, and Bangladesh, gather at a ministerial-level meeting to discuss the situation in Myanmar initiated by Canada, emphasizing the need for progress seen in the repatriation process.

During the meeting, Indonesia and the international community, ASEAN, and the United Nations will continue to monitor the implementation of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) on repatriation between Myanmar and Bangladesh.

The MoU needs to be implemented to create a better situation change on the ground and to fulfill the rights of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh to return to their homes in Rakhine State, Myanmar.

Rohingya people are one of the most persecuted ethnic minority groups in the world. Apart from pressure from various sides, they are not seen as a population by any country.

In short, they do not have citizenship.

Myanmar, which is predominantly Buddhist, considers Rohingya as Bangladeshi, while Bangladesh says they are Myanmar citizens.

It is estimated that more than one million Rohingyas are forced to leave their hometowns in Myanmar to escape the violence and discrimination they experience.

Myanmar`s domestic problems are complex. The issue of refugees, vertical and horizontal tensions, as well as democratic transitions took place at the same time.

Hopes are pinned high for a change when people are intoxicated with a romantic narrative of a democratic change that is springing up in their country, optimistic that the situation will become better for all Myanmar people.

However, in reality, little has been done for the Rohingya community.

The ruling party did not give priority to the situation in Rakhine.

In fact, when the international community wants to hear, the Nobel Peace Prize winner, Aung San Suu Kyi, chooses to remain silent while talking about Rohingya.

In order to work for the repatriation, the first step to be taken is creating a supportive environment, according to Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi.

Conditions must be prepared along with security guarantees, so that the Rohingya people are confident to be able to return to their homes.

All these efforts must also be based on the trust built between the governments of Bangladesh and Myanmar.

After the preparations for repatriation, it is also necessary to think about how to prepare for inclusive economic development.

"Indonesia emphasizes repeatedly, inclusive economic development in Rakhine State, so that there is no segregation between them," Marsudi noted.

Such input was again emphasized by Marsudi during a luncheon with her British counterpart Jeremy Hunt to discuss the Myanmar issue.

The meeting was chaired by British Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt and French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and was attended by several foreign ministers from Australia, Japan, Turkey, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, then the US Permanent Representative to the United Nations, and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and Head of UNDP.

Also present at the meeting were ministers from Myanmar`s state advisory office and the Myanmar Minister of Cooperation.

Not only at the level of policy makers, trust must also be built at the community level.

"We are also working with the community on how we share our experiences on the diverse problems of life and how to improve the economy," Marsudi added.

Indonesia also received praises from the community in Rakhine for initiating the construction of the Indonesian Hospital in the Myaung Bwe Village, Mrauk U City, Rakhine State.

The hospital, whose construction began in November 2017, echoes the message of peace and unites various ethnic groups in Myanmarm, as it involves the surrounding community regardless of their origin, background, ethnicity, or religion in its development.

Thousands of people from various ethnicities and religions gathered together in a peaceful setting at the groundbreaking ceremony of the Indonesian hospital.

Workers in the hospital also hail from Muslim and Buddhist communities, who work without any hostility between them.

Construction of the Indonesian hospital in Rakhine is part of the humanitarian diplomacy carried out by MER-C since establishing the Indonesian Hospital in Gaza, Palestine.

The construction is scheduled to be completed by the end of this year.

"The challenge is very tough, but every country pushes concrete steps immediately," Marsudi stated.

The 73rd UN General Assembly General Debate Session was officially opened at the UN Headquarters, New York, on Tuesday by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

This year`s general debate is themed "Making the United Nations Relevant to All People: Global Leadership and Shared Responsibilities for Peaceful, Equitable and Sustainable Societies."

Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is scheduled to attend the 73rd UN general debate session, which was officially opened on Tuesday, where she will propose a new plea and Bangladesh`s aspirations for earlier repatriation of more than one million Rohingyas to Myanmar.

In addition, Hasina will speak about the implementation of the recommendations of the Kofi Annan Commission to resolve the Rohingya crisis.

Meanwhile, Myanmar`s State Adviser Aung San Suu Kyi will not attend the UNGA Debate Session this year. Suu Kyi was also not present at the UNGA last year.