UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix on Sunday said the United Nations is fully committed to helping Rohingya people and ensure their safe and voluntary return to their homeland from Bangladesh.
“UN is fully committed to helping these people,” he said adding that there is also strong commitment by the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres who really takes personal interest in this issue in helping in many different ways.
Lacroix made the remarks while responding to questions at a press conference on Sunday night at a city hotel.
He recognised the “immense generosity” in opening its border for Rohingyas and mentioned that there is a very strong mobilisation of support by the humanitarian actors.
Asked about possibility of deployment of peacekeepers in Rakhine State, he reminded that to deploy peacekeepers in any place, first of all, requires a decision by the UN Security Council and secondly a consent from the host country.
Lacroix mentioned that peacekeeping is not the only solution as there are many ways, including addressing the political dimension of the crisis.
He said the UN chief will be visiting Bangladesh in a few days and a significant of his visit would be Rohingya issue.
On peacekeeping operations, he said today’s peacekeeping operations is totally different from yesterday’s one.
The UN senior official said they have a very ambitious plan of action to reduce fatalities and make the operations cost-effective ones.
He said better protection of the peacekeepers means better protection of the people where peacekeepers are deployed.
Lacroix termed Bangladesh as one of the strongest supporters and partners and the UN conveys its message of respect, gratitude and friendship to Bangladesh for its quality services.
Earlier, in his meeting with Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali, he lauded Bangladesh’s strong engagement in ensuring peace around the world with its peacekeepers.
“We had a very frank discussion. This was an opportunity for me to thank him personally and Bangladesh for its extremely strong support to peacekeeping and its steadfast engagement in favour of peace around the world,” he said.
Lacroix was talking to reporters after his meeting with Mahmood Ali at State guesthouse Padma.
“We’re extremely grateful and we’re also respectful of the services of the Bangladeshi peacekeepers around the world,” he said adding that he had an excellent discussion with Minister Ali.