India refuses to sign Bali Declaration over Rohingya issue
India reiterated its stance that the purpose of convening the Parliamentary forum was to arrive at mutual consensus for implementation of sustainable development goal, which requires inclusive and broad-based development processes.
India on 7 September 2017 refused to sign Bali Declaration adopted at the World Parliamentary Forum on Sustainable Development in Indonesia.
The Bali Declaration referred to the violence against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar’s Rakhine state.
What is in Bali Declaration?
• The Bali Declaration called on all parties to contribute to restoring stability and security in the region.
• The Declaration urged everyone to “exercise maximum self-restraint from using violent means, respect the human rights of all people in Rakhine state regardless of their faith and ethnicity, as well as facilitate and guarantee safe access for humanitarian assistance”.
Why India refused to sign the Declaration?
• The Indian delegation, led by Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, stated that it was inappropriate and unjustified to refer to the Myanmar violence in particular as the forum was focused on the Sustainable Development Goals of all countries.
• The delegation went on to state “This was in view of the fact that the declaration, which was to be adopted at the conclusion of the forum, was not in line with the agreed global principles of sustainable development.”
• The part of the declaration to which India objected spoke of the forum expressing “deep concern on ongoing violence in the Rakhine State of Myanmar, amongst others…”
• India reiterated its stance that the purpose of convening the Parliamentary forum was to arrive at mutual consensus for implementation of sustainable development goal, which requires inclusive and broad-based development processes.
• The Rohingya people are a stateless Indo-Aryan people from Rakhine State, Myanmar.
• There were an estimated 1 million Rohingya living in Myanmar. As of September 2017, nearly half of them have fled to other countries.
• Described by the United Nations in 2013 as one of the most persecuted minorities in the world, the Rohingya population are denied citizenship under the 1982 Burmese citizenship law.
• The Rohingyas have faced military crackdowns in 1978, 1991–1992, 2012, 2015 and 2016–2017.
• The United Nations officials have described Myanmar's persecution of the Rohingya as ethnic cleansing, while there have been warnings of an unfolding genocide.