UN Report on Handling of Rohingya Crisis

Published: June 18, 2019

The United Nations Report has slammed its own handling of Myanmar Rohingya crisis. The UN report makes the following observations:

  • The report has expressed displeasure over the functioning of the agency in handling the violence against the Rohingyas.
  • The report notes that serious errors were committed and opportunities were lost in the UN system following a fragmented strategy rather than a common plan of action.
  • The report also criticizes Resident Coordinator of the UN for deliberately de-dramatizing events in reports and Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) for not sharing their analysis with other entities of the UN System.
  • Even at the highest level of the UN, there was no common strategy.
  • Despite the advocacy efforts from the Secretary-General s personal involvement and that of the most senior officials down to members of the country team, there were lack of efforts to effectively work with the authorities of Myanmar to reverse the negative trends in the area of human rights and consolidate the positive trends in other areas
  • The report also notes the impact of competing strategies between some UN agencies and individuals while dealing with the Rohingya crisis.
  • The report notes the different approaches in dealing with the contradictory trends in Myanmar were amplifies as the events in Rakhine State became increasingly dire. Instead of seeking a common ground for the competing strategies, the differences between them have appeared to have led to a polarization of attitudes across institutional and personal levels, among officials and staff, at Headquarters and in the field, and even among the non-governmental organizations, as the intensity of the human rights violations escalated.
  • The increasing polarisation among officials and staff was due to, at least in part, to the emotional reactions to the horrific events taking place on the ground.
  • The report notes that an overwhelming majority of officials and staff were committed to the principles and values of the United Nations and genuinely believed, rightly or wrongly, that by following their own tactical play-book they were acting in the best interests of the Organization. As a result, serious recriminations surfaced among the proponents of the competing strategies being followed.

The report further states that those promoting constructive engagement have incurred the wrath of those favouring a more robust advocacy role. This has poisoned the environment in which a unified United Nations is expected to work.

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