The recent outbreak of deadly communal violence in Rakhine State, Myanmar on 3 June 2012 and the on-going tensions between the Buddhist Rakhine and the Muslim Rohingya communities have left, according to official figures, more than 70 people dead, and more than 80,000 displaced. There are continued humanitarian needs among the displaced and affected populations and tensions between the communities remain high.
While the Government of Myanmar has been cooperating with the United Nations and humanitarian agencies to deliver humanitarian assistance to displaced communities, there are continuing humanitarian challenges in Rakhine State that need to be addressed. At the same time, a national dialogue on durable solutions for the situation in Rakhine is needed, in the context of the Government’s wider reform agenda, which includes a peace process and commitments to national reconciliation with ethnic nationalities.
The Overseas Development Institute’s Humanitarian Policy Group (HPG) and The Cordoba Foundation (TCF) convened a closed-door High-Level Roundtable on national, regional and international responses to the crisis in Myanmar’s Rakhine State on 13 September at the Overseas Development Institute’s offices in London.
The roundtable was held in accordance with the Chatham House Rule. The roundtable aimed to facilitate a high-level policy dialogue among representatives of the Government of Myanmar, regional organizations (namely OIC and ASEAN), humanitarian agencies currently working in Rakhine State as well as those planning relief responses, and representatives of the donor community.
Invited speakers included:
* H.E. U Kyaw Myo Htut, Ambassador of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar to the United Kingdom
* H.E. Dr. Surin Pitsuwan, Secretary-General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
* H.E. Ambassador Atta Manane. Bakhit, Assistance Secretary-General and Head of Humanitarian Department, Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC)
* Mr. Ashok Nigam, United Nations Resident Coordinator, Myanmar
* Mr. Oliver Lacey-Hall, Head of Regional Office for Asia-Pacific, UNOCHA