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The ASEAN Dialogues Series: Rohingya Crisis in Myanmar


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The Rohingya people, a stateless Muslim minority within Myanmar, have been persecuted for decades. In August 2017, the most recent exodus of Rohingya people began with a violent retaliation from the Myanmar military in response to Rohingya rebel attacks on police. Since then, over 650,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar. The Rohingya crisis has garnered intense international attention, but to date, has spurred very little concrete action. The regional response from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), of which Myanmar is a member, has been minimal. This is largely due to their principle of non-interference in the affairs of other states. There have thus been few, if any, comments from Myanmar’s regional partners, with the exception of Malaysia.

As the humanitarian crisis continues and repatriation talks begin, it is now a good time to evaluate the options available to the global community. Should relief be left to civil society actors on the ground, or should neighboring states be helping the Rohingya people? Is it time to deploy a peacekeeping operation to Myanmar or should the United Nations leave this problem to regional powers?

These questions and others will be addressed at the Asia Pacific Youth Council’s (APYC) second dialogue event, part of a three-part series entitled “The ASEAN Dialogues.” The event will be held March 27, 2018, and will focus on the following questions:
1. What has the position of other ASEAN countries and civil society organizations been in regards to the Rohingya crisis?
2. What are the options available to begin solving this crisis?
3. Should the international community become involved, or is this a situation best left to regional partnerships?

Organized in partnership with students at UBC, this event will attempt to disentangle one of the most pressing issues in global affairs. The dialogue will begin with a briefing that presents the situation in Myanmar and the reactions of various actors. Following this will be focus group discussions that explore the three main options for action, before a wider group discussion among all participants.

We would like to acknowledge that this event will be hosted on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the Musqueam people.

RSVP Link: https://goo.gl/forms/XVF2SrjE3dPHQuh52

Free, with light refreshment provided.