The '2nd Dhaka Declaration' demands an unequivocal commitment from the world community to resolve the Rohingya refugee crisis in a sustainable manner.
The declaration follows a two-day international e-conference (25-26 August) titled "Connecting Rohingya Diaspora: Highlighting the Global Displacement" that concluded on Wednesday.
The "2nd Dhaka Declaration" urges the international community to come forward to ensure justice and accountability for the safe, dignified and voluntary repatriation of the Rohingya people in Bangladesh, and especially in resolving the Rohingya crisis.
ActionAid Bangladesh in association with the Centre for Genocide Studies, Dhaka University and the Centre for Peace and Justice, and Brac University organised the conference on the occasion of the third anniversary of the massive influx of Rohingyas into Bangladesh.
The e-conference was attended by experts, researchers, academicians, human rights activists and humanitarian workers working on the Rohingya diaspora from 12 countries including Bangladesh and Myanmar.
Participating states at the conference were encouraged to support the steps taken by the International Criminal Court (ICC) and International Court of Justice (ICJ) to ensure justice and accountability for the Rohingyas.
It also called upon the Rohingya diaspora to mobilise tangible and intangible resources to support the struggle of the Rohingyas, especially after the recognition from ICJ.
The conference recognised the risks that the Rohingya people regularly take to avoid persecution in Myanmar, and the precarious journey by boat that they embark on to take refuge in neighboring countries.
It condemned the apathy of the government of Myanmar, regional governments and the international community towards the Rohingya people, particularly the sufferings of Rohingya women and children in open seas.
On the concluding day of the conference, Hla Myint, president of the Rohingya Intellectual Community, Sydney, Australia, said, "Around 600,000 Rohingyas in Myanmar's Rakhine state are still at risk of genocide."
"According to international relief agencies, Rohingyas, victims of deadly violence since 2012, have been living in confined camps. Despite the order of the International Court of Justice to protect the Rohingya, innocent people are being killed, looted and tortured," he said.
The second Dhaka declaration also added that in order to be able to play a significant role, the Rohingya diaspora needs to develop a strong network creating a virtual diaspora space for raising a strong voice in the international forum demanding their due rights from Myanmar.
M Shahidul Haque, former foreign secretary of Bangladesh, said, "The international Rohingya diaspora needs to start uniting and creating a collective identity. The division in their leadership has to be addressed in order to realise their true potential and achieve their common goals".
Lilianne Fan, head of the Rohingya Working Group, Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network, Malaysia, said, "We need to develop strategies for investing in the Rohingya community. The young generation of Rohingyas has to be prepared to be leaders of tomorrow and represent their community on the international scene".
Laetitia van den Assum, a former Dutch ambassador, insisted on the importance of focusing the work on the wider Rakhine State in order to address the wider ethnic discrimination on display.
She said, "We have to look at solutions that will do justice to all the communities in Rakhine State for the solutions to stand the test of time."
"Definitely, the Rohingyas have endured the majority of the oppression but the solutions need to rectify the issues faced by all minority groups to ensure wider and sustainable justice," she added.
The conference presented the miserable condition of the Rohingya community, listened to the experiences of the Rohingya diaspora, and connected the Rohingyas living both in and out of Myanmar.
The first Dhaka declaration was in 2018 following an international conference.