- I. Joint Communiqué between the Central Committee for Implementation of Stability and Development in Rakhine State of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar and the Delegation of the Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC)
The following is the Joint Communiqué between the Central Committee for the Implementation of Stability and Development in the Rakhine State of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar and the Delegation of the Organisation of Islamic Organization (OIC) issued on 17 November 2013 in Yangon:
(1). At the invitation of the Government of Myanmar a delegation consisting of the OIC Secretary General, Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Djibouti and Turkey, and high level representatives of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia paid a visit to Myanmar from 14-16 November 2013.
(2). The visit provided a unique opportunity to the OIC delegation to be appraised of and observe first-hand the political, economic and administrative changes that Myanmar is going through under the leadership of President U Thein Sein towards ensuring peace, stability, rule of law and socio-economic progress, consistent with the aspirations of the people of Myanmar.
(3). The delegation expressed support to the Government’s efforts to further promote inter-communal reconciliation, tolerance and peaceful-co-existence in all sectors of society by, inter alia, encouraging interfaith and inter-communal dialogue and understanding and by supporting community leaders in this direction.
(4). The delegation welcomed various statements and assurances of the Government of Myanmar to put an end to all acts of violence and protect the civilian population from violence and to ensure full respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, including in Rakhine State.
(5). The delegation particularly took note of and found exceptionally important the statements of President U Thein Sein, including his statement of 28 March, 2013, in which he guaranteed all perpetrators of violence would be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and noted the establishment of the Central Committee for Implementation of Stability and Development in Rakhine State, as well as his message of 1 October, 2013 to the Conference of the Leaders of Five Faith.
(6).The delegation underlined its appreciation for the invitation extended by the Government of Myanmar to the Delegation and the Government’s readiness to engage with the OIC and its member states in line with its cooperation with the international community. The Delegation appreciated the facilitation during the visit, of the engagement with the Central Committee, headed by Vice-President Dr Sai Mauk Kham and overseeing the Working Committees tasked to promote integrated social and economic development.
(7). The delegation appreciated the ongoing efforts of the Government aimed at reviewing legislation, including the Constitution, in a compatible manner with the international standards and democratic principles. The Delegation called upon the Government to continue legal reforms, including repealing laws restricting fundamental freedoms.
(8). The delegation took note of the explanations of the Myanmar authorities about their determination and efforts to address the challenges relating to human rights, citizenship, economic opportunities and development affecting ethnic and religious minorities, including the situation in the Rakhine State.
(9). The delegation expressed the readiness of the OIC member states to be able to further contribute to the ongoing humanitarian and rehabilitation assistance provision from the OIC member states and institutions, including from the civil society organizations in full coordination with the Government, and to support the Government’s efforts to address the humanitarian, rehabilitation and development needs of the communities in the country including in Rakhine State. The OIC delegation assured the Government of the principled position of the OIC, OIC institutions and its member states not to discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity and religion in the provision of humanitarian assistance. Based on this principled position, both parties agreed to ensure that humanitarian assistance will be provided on a non-discriminatory basis through the Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar.
(10). The delegation expressed satisfaction by the confirmation of the Permanent Representative of Myanmar in his address to the UNGA stating that “The Government stands ready to provide access and facilitate humanitarian and other assistance from any sources, including the Member States of the Organization of
Islamic Cooperation (OIC) if the assistance is non-discriminatory and meant for both affected communities.” The Government and the delegation expressed their common desire to continue the Government’s engagement with the OIC in all aspects and exchanged of information to enable the OIC to provide all sorts of support to the Government in tackling all challenges, where its support would be relevant and needed, in the spirit of common humanity and in full respect for the principle of avoidance of interference in the internal affairs of the country, and of the national unity and sovereignty of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar.
(11) The Government of Myanmar acknowledged the delegation and OIC member states for their interest to help Myanmar promote national reconciliation and continue its progress towards full democracy and welfare in peace and stability.
II. OIC Secretary-General and party conclude visit to Myanmar.
The delegation comprising Secretary-General of Organization of Islamic Cooperation Mr. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu and members foreign affairs ministers and high level representatives this morning met with media persons at Yangon International Airport before departing from Yangon by air.
In his press briefing, the OIC secretary-general said the OIC delegation held constructive talks with officials during the three-day trip. The delegation welcomed the government’s statements and assurances to put an end to all acts of violence and protect the civilian population from violence and to ensure full respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms across the country including Rakhine State.
During the field trip in Rakhine State, the delegation observed the government’s efforts for ensuring inter-communal reconciliation and listened to the voices of victims and exchanged information with local people. He vowed that provision of aid will continue to be able to relieve their sufferings.
He stressed the need to bring the perpetrators to justice as the violence is due to an ordinary criminal case, not religious beliefs. He also added that the main problem is the use of violence and that mutual mistrust can lead to violence. To correct the misperception of many Myanmar nationals, he stressed that the OIC is an international intergovernmental organization, not a religious association.
The onus is on all to strive to contain the racial conflicts not to spread from one region to another. The delegation assured not to discriminate on basis of race, ethnicity and religion in provision of aid. Humanitarian assistance will be presented through the government. He expressed the OIC’s desire to encourage mutual trust and understanding for ensuring peaceful co-existence. He also acknowledged the government’s reform process.
Next, the OIC Secretary-General answered the queries raised by media persons that the delegation sought ways and means during its fact-finding trip and provision of humanitarian assistance will be made; and that opening of liaison office in Myanmar remains questionable and they have to wait until the people understand them. Then, they were seen off at the airport by officials.
The Embassy of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar
Bandar Seri Begawan
Dated 18 November 2013.