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TakeAction for February 2018: Canadian diplomacy in support of the Rohingya

The World Federalists have supported the progressive development of the Responsibility to Protect normative framework and the implementation of R2P principles. As such, we are grateful that Canada identified a Special Envoy to Myanmar and has recently increased by $12 million the assistance provided to address the humanitarian and security crisis in that country.

Clearly there is a need for member states at the United Nations to do more. Current actions, such as the resolution that emerged from the UN’s Third Committee this fall, do little more than condemn the violations of international law.

A return by those forcibly displaced from Rakhine state will not happen unless the refugees have the assurance that it is safe to do so. A UN force in the area is needed to provide the Rohingya with the security they require. We believe Canada has the opportunity to show leadership by bringing such a proposal to the UN for approval.

The Security Council has not addressed the Rohingya crisis because China and Russia are opposed to the UN intervening into the internal affairs of a country. Nevertheless, effective measures by Canada could include the imposition of targeted sanctions with a view to pressuring Myanmar to stop the ethnic cleansing and to consent to the presence of a General Assembly-sanctioned international force on their soil, to ensure that the Rohingya have the necessary protection for their safe return. Additional discussion and diplomacy in the General Assembly, perhaps as a prelude to an Emergency Special Session could also contribute to the diplomatic effort to modify the policies and behaviour of the government of Myanmar.

What you can do

Write to Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and Minister for International Development Marie-Claude Bibeau and ask them to consider sanctions and other R2P principles.

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