October 7, 2017 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada
The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, today issued the following statement on the critical situation in Myanmar:
“Canada is deeply concerned by the plight of the Rohingya and other ethnic minorities in Myanmar. The killings and other gross violations of human rights are part of a widespread attack against the Rohingya. These are crimes against humanity—and the responsibility for ending this ethnic cleansing falls squarely on Myanmar’s military leadership and its civilian government.
“Once again, we urge authorities to set the conditions for the safe and voluntary return of Rohingya refugees and other ethnic minorities to their rightful homes, in dignity, where they should live free from persecution and enjoy full equality under the law.
“Over the last month, Minister Freeland has spoken to her counterparts from numerous countries regarding the need to work together to exert pressure on the regime to end the violence in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine state.
“A week ago, the Minister also spoke with Myanmar’s Commander-in-Chief, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, to emphasize Canadians’ concern for human rights violations against the Rohingya population and to encourage an end to the violence.
“On October 2, Canada’s Ambassador to Myanmar participated in a visit to northern Rakhine for diplomats and representatives of UN agencies. This must be the first step in granting urgently needed access to all parts of northern Rakhine for foreign officials, humanitarian and UN agencies, as well as the international press.
“Minister Bibeau has approved $12.25 million in humanitarian assistance funding to trusted partners in Myanmar and Bangladesh to date in 2017 to meet the needs of the most vulnerable, including the Rohingya women and youth. But the international community, including Canada, must do more.
“Canada implores the military and civilian authorities in Myanmar to end the violence, to allow the full, safe and unimpeded delivery of humanitarian assistance, and to implement the recommendations of the Kofi Annan-chaired Advisory Commission on Rakhine State. We continue to stand ready to support all efforts to build a democratic, inclusive, diverse and stable society in Myanmar.”
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