Bangladesh and Burma: the Rohingya crisis Contents

1International consensus on a new humanitarian agenda

11.In May 2016, representatives of 180 UN member states, including 55 heads of state and government25 and hundreds of civil society, NGO, private sector and academic representatives met in Istanbul at the World Humanitarian Summit to consider and agree a new approach to humanitarian assistance and relief. Amongst the participants, Bangladesh, Burma and the UK were represented. The commitments arising out of the Summit of particular relevance to this report, included undertakings to:

12.On September 19, 2016, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted a further set of commitments to enhance the protection of refugees and migrants. These commitments are known as the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants. The New York Declaration reaffirms the importance of the international refugee regime and represents a commitment by all UN Member States to strengthen and enhance mechanisms to protect people on the move. These include commitments to:

13.It seemed unlikely that the world would encounter a case that would test the majority of these new commitments and principles as comprehensively as the Rohingya crisis. Unfortunately, this test arrived all too soon.


25 Rt Hon Justine Greening MP, then Secretary of State for International Development, headed the UK delegation.

26 There was a particular welcome for the World Bank’s financing initiatives to support refugees and host communities in Jordan and Lebanon in recognition of the global public good that countries with large refugee populations provide across Africa and Asia and a commitment to explore additional financing with countries that have large refugee populations.




15 January 2018