Foreign Minister to attend meetings in Bangladesh on the Rohingya crisis

News release

April 26, 2018 Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

As a leader in the international response to the Rohingya crisis, Canada continues to work with domestic, regional, and international partners to address the human tragedy unfolding in Myanmar’s Rakhine State and Bangladesh.

The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today announced she will travel to Bangladesh from May 3 to 6, 2018 to address the 45th Session of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Council of Foreign Ministers.

This will be the first time a non-member minister addresses the Session of the OIC’s Council of Foreign Ministers. The participating Foreign Ministers will convene to discuss issues such as economic collaboration, Islamophobia, and humanitarian crises and conflicts, including the Rohingya crisis.

During her visit, Minister Freeland will be accompanied by the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to Myanmar, the Honourable Bob Rae, and Canada’s Special Envoy to the OIC, Ambassador Masud Husain. They will visit Cox’s Bazar, located in the south of the country along the border with Myanmar, to witness the devastating consequences of the Rohingya crisis and gain a deeper understanding of the needs of those affected. 

Minister Freeland will also meet with various officials of the Government of Bangladesh to discuss further steps to address this dire situation.

Quotes

“Canada deeply values its relationships with the diversity of countries and people represented in the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. We are eager to discuss how we can take action with OIC partners to support the Rohingya, who faced unspeakable persecution and who have been the victims of crimes against humanity. Along with international partners, we will work to establish a clear pathway towards accountability for the atrocities and human rights violations committed in Rakhine State and coordinate efforts to build lasting peace in Myanmar.”

- Hon. Chrystia Freeland, P.C., M.P., Minister of Foreign Affairs

Quick facts

  • The OIC is the world’s second largest intergovernmental organisation, comprising 57 members in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East, and represents the collective voice of the Muslim world.

  • Canada and Bangladesh share a number of multilateral interests including trade liberalization through the World Trade Organization and support for international peacekeeping. Canada and Bangladesh also enjoy close ties as members of the United Nations and the Commonwealth.

  • The Rohingya refugee situation has become the world’s fastest-growing refugee and humanitarian crisis. Since the beginning of 2017, the Government of Canada has provided more than $45.9 million to deliver life-saving and gender-responsive support to the hundreds of thousands of people in Bangladesh and Myanmar affected by the violence in Myanmar.

  • Additionally, during the eligibility period of the Myanmar Crisis Relief Fund, Canadians also donated $12.5 million to charities to respond to the Rohingya crisis.

  • Canada supports lifesaving and gender-responsive programming in Bangladesh and Myanmar delivered through experienced humanitarian partners. In line with Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy, Canada’s programming includes initiatives that address the specific needs of women and girls, prioritizing services to those who are most vulnerable, including pregnant and nursing women, single mothers and women-headed households.

  • Bangladesh has opened its arms and borders to the Rohingya people fleeing ethnic cleansing in Myanmar, accepting more than 711,000 Rohingya since August 25, 2017 in addition to the estimated 300,000 additional Rohingya who had previously sought refuge in Bangladesh. Bangladesh is providing life-saving assistance in camps and informal settlements in the Cox’s Bazar area.

Associated links

Contacts

Adam Austen
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
Adam.Austen@international.gc.ca

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media@international.gc.ca
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