Press release

Minister for Asia speaks about the situation in Rakhine, Burma

Mark Field, UK Minister for Asia, has called on the international community to keep up pressure on Burma to stop the violence in Rakhine.


The Minister spoke about the situation in Burma during a meeting hosted by Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) during the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York on Tuesday 19 September.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister Mark Field said:

The international community is united by a sense of horror at what is happening to the Rohingya Muslims of Burma. We must come together to deliver a united message.

The UK has shown leadership in coordinating the United Nations Security Council’s first press statement on Burma in 8 years. That statement delivered a clear message to the Burmese security forces to stop the violence, allow aid agencies full access to northern Rakhine and implement in full the recommendations of the Rakhine Advisory Commission.

Yesterday our Foreign Secretary chaired a meeting of countries committed to resolving the current crisis.

Today I call on the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation to echo the Security Council’s press statement.

Let us be clear: whilst I agree with the Presidents of Turkey and Malaysia that the latest stage of this crisis was triggered by paramilitary activity it is Burma’s security forces who bear responsibility for the humanitarian crisis in Rakhine.

So I also ask those countries who have influence with Burma’s security forces to use that influence to persuade them to heed the Security Council’s call.

I pay tribute to the Prime Minister of Bangladesh for accepting Rohingya refugees into her country. And I acknowledge the personal commitment of the Foreign Minister of Indonesia, for her attempts to seek a diplomatic solution to this crisis.

We must keep up the pressure on Burma’s civilian government to send a clear message to their security forces to stop the violence, ensure a full investigation of allegations of human rights violations, full access to the UN Fact Finding Mission and commit to ensuring accountability for the perpetrators.

The UK is committed to working with international partners to find a solution to this humanitarian crisis.

Published 20 September 2017