Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Questions (47)

Micheál Martin

Question:

47. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if war crimes and genocide against the Rohingya were discussed at recent EU meetings he attended in view of the recent UN comments on same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22626/19]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

In January this year, I attended the EU-ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting in Brussels, during which the crisis in Rakhine State was raised with our ASEAN counterparts, which includes Myanmar. Furthermore, during the EU Foreign Affairs Committee in December 2018, Council Conclusions were adopted calling on Myanmar to hold to account those responsible for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide and to take meaningful action towards the creation of conditions conducive to a safe, voluntary, dignified and sustainable return of those displaced from Rakhine State to their places of origin.

Two weeks ago, following a 10-day visit to Bangladesh, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia, the UN Independent International Fact Finding Mission on Myanmar (IIFFM) urged the international community to cut off all financial and other support to Myanmar’s military, owing to the Myanmar Government’s lack of resolve in addressing the nation’s conflicts and protecting human rights. The IIFFM also cited the need for the commanders of Myanmar’s military to be isolated and brought before a credible court to answer charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

Ireland, together with our EU and UN partners, has consistently called for the accountability of those who are responsible for such crimes and supports actions at international level in this regard. The EU has also put in place targeted restrictive measures, which Ireland continues to support, against senior military officers of the Myanmar Security Forces responsible for these acts.

Ireland has strongly, directly and repeatedly stated that the best long-term framework for a sustainable solution that addresses the concerns of the Rohingya, including the key issue of securing citizenship rights and the protection that accrues, remains the recommendations of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State which was led by the late Kofi Annan.

Ireland continues to call for the full implementation of the Advisory Commission’s findings and will continue to do so. Officials in my Department, including in the Embassy of Ireland in Thailand, which is also accredited to Myanmar, will continue to monitor the situation.