Myanmar, Bangladesh agree to commence repatriation of first batch of verified displaced persons by mid November at the Joint Working Group Meeting

JWG photo 1 copy
High-level officials from Myanmar and Bangladesh convene at the third meeting for repatriating verified displaced persons held in Dhaka, Bangladesh from 29 to 31 October. photo: mna

Myanmar delegation led by U Myint Thu, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar visited Dhaka, Bangladesh from 29 to 31 October 2018 to attend the Third Meeting of the Joint Working Group (JWG) between Myanmar and Bangladesh on the Repatriation of Verified Displaced Persons. The delegation includes representatives from various Ministries and Rakhine State government.
The Third JWG Meeting was held at the State Guest House of Bangladesh on 30 October 2018. The Meeting was co-chaired by U Myint Thu, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Myanmar and Mr. Md. Shahidul Haque, Foreign Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh.
At the Meeting, both sides exchanged views and reviewed the repatriation process, including conducive environment, safety, security and confidence building for the prospective returnees, preparation for resettlement, verification process, dissemination of information among the returnees on information about National Verification Card (NVC), involvement of the United Nations Agencies, INGOs and international partners in the processes of repatriation, resettlement and reintegration.
At the meeting, both sides agreed to commence the repatriation of first batch by middle of November 2018. Both sides also discussed the situation of displaced persons staying on Myanmar territory close to the international boundary line between boundary pillar 34 and 35.
The Myanmar side informed the Meeting on its concerted efforts and preparations for the repatriation and resettlement process, including the UEHRD’s ongoing activities, village plans, construction of villages, livelihood opportunities, education and healthcare services for the returnees, verification process, and the issuance of the National Verification Card (NVC).
Myanmar side also briefed on the rapid need assessment by UNDP and UNHCR to village tracts in northern Rakhine State in September and October 2018 to support Myanmar Government’s efforts to improve the livelihood of all affected populations, build trust and promote social cohesion among all communities.
The Myanmar side reaffirmed its readiness to receive the verified displaced persons from Bangladesh in accordance with the bilateral agreements reached between the two countries for the repatriation of verified displaced persons from Bangladesh.
Myanmar side stressed that mutual understanding and constructive cooperation based on the principles of objectivity, mutual respect and bilateral agreements will bring about positive outcome in the repatriation process.
Myanmar side sought cooperation of the Bangladesh side to take actions against ARSA terrorists including those verified as terrorists from the list
of 8032 persons provided by Bangladesh.
On 31 October 2018, Myanmar members of JWG, accompanied by Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Mr. Md. Shahidul Haque and Bangladesh members of JWG, paid a field visit to Kutupalong Camp in Cox’s Bazar. Myanmar delegation met with the representatives of displaced persons and explained in detail on Myanmar Government’s efforts in the repatriation process, including safety and security for the prospective returnees, UEHRD’s activities for resettlement, rebuilding villages, livelihood opportunities, education and healthcare services for the returnees, issuance of the National Verification Card (NVC), and the benefits of holding NVC cards. Myanmar delegation also visited the Balukhali Camp in Ukhia, Cox’s Bazaar.
The Myanmar delegation also met with the representatives of Hindu people who expressed their desire to return to Myanmar.
The Fourth Joint Working Group meeting will be held in Myanmar and the dates and venue will be communicated through the diplomatic channel according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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