WJC representative delivering the statement: Ms. Elisabeth Pohl
Thank you, Madam President.
The World Jewish Congress has always prioritized the protection of minorities, and the prevention of genocide, as a human rights issue. Seventy-five years after the liberation of Auschwitz and the deliberate murder of more than 6 million Jews, we are steadfast in our pledge that “Never Again” applies to all peoples. As Elie Wiesel so poignantly said: “The opposite of love is not hate; it is indifference.”
The WJC is therefore profoundly concerned about the plight of Rohingya Muslims and other minorities in Myanmar. The Rohingya are consistently subjected to systematic persecution and discrimination, racial intolerance, and xenophobia, which restricts their right, among others, to freedom of religion, and perpetuates the suffering of hundreds of thousands.
The 1982 Citizenship Law, in particular, sets a hierarchy of three citizenship classes, stripping rights of those deemed less than ‘full’ citizens. Other laws enforce arbitrary restrictions on minorities on grounds such as “public order and morality.”
We call upon the Council and the international community to bring an end to the suffering of the Rohingyas and to improve the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Myanmar.
Peaceful religious coexistence should not be just a slogan, but also a reality. Only then, can we say that humanity has truly learned from the mistakes of the past, and is willing to contribute to a better future.