During his travel to Geneva, Switzerland, to attend the 70th plenary session of the Executive Committee (ExCom) of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Union Minister Dr Win Myat Aye met with UN officials and the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross.
Meeting with UNHCR
On 8 October, the Union Minister for Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement met with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Mr Filippo Grandi. The Union Minister spoke of the importance of accepting and receiving displaced persons and preparations Myanmar has in place.
He also talked on how Myanmar’s government is implementing the recommendations on Rakhine State, the formation of ten working groups under UEHRD, collaborating with UNDP on the joint survey for Rakhine and possible areas for cooperating with UN agencies, ASEAN’s readiness to assist in the repatriation process and future processes, enacting the national strategic plan to resettle IDPs and close down temporary camps, verifying citizenship and implementing freedom to travel.
Mr Grandi then said the first priority of Myanmar should be to provide true information and clarification at the refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar. He said the same should be done towards the IDPs in Rakhine State. He said there should also be increased cooperation between UNDP and UNHCR, as per the MoU, and suggested on processes that should be done for the repatriation process to succeed.
Meeting with ICRC President
Dr Win Myat Aye met with ICRC President Mr Peter Maurer on 9 October where he expressed his gratitude to the Red Cross Movement for providing humanitarian assistance in Rakhine State. He said representatives from the Rakhine State cabinet and union ministries are discussing on ways to resolve the difficulty in providing humanitarian aid in Rakhine, adding that there have been positive results produced from the meeting.
The Union Minister said they will also cooperate with ICRC to provide aid in Kachin State. He said they will implement the national strategic plan to resettle IDPs and close down temporary camps in each state and region. He then gave the latest news on the repatriation process in Rakhine State.
The ICRC President first thanked the relevant state government and union ministries for working to resolve the difficulty of providing aid in Rakhine State. He said ICRC has experts on reducing dangers from landmines and offered to sign an MoU with the SWRR Ministry on the matter. He also said ICRC stands ready to assist Rakhine’s repatriation process.
Meeting with UNDRR Special Rep
The Union Minister then met with Ms Mami Mizutori, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction in the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR).
He said Myanmar has been able to submit a report on the improved implementations of the Sendai Framework and expressed gratitude for the technological support necessary to establish the national information system essential for compiling the report and for monitoring the implementation process via online.
The Union Minister requested assistance in drafting an action plan for reducing losses from natural disasters in Mawlamyine, the city chosen for the Climate Change Resilient City Project.
Ms Mizutori said Myanmar deserves recognition for endeavoring to reduce damage from natural disasters. She said Myanmar’s efforts in Target E of the Sendai Framework is something to be proud of and expressed her delight in knowing that a national policy roadmap for reducing damage from natural disasters is under way. She promised to cooperate more with Myanmar in this regard.—MNA (Translated by Zaw Htet Oo)