United Nation- New york

By|Tony Wild

   UN Assistant High Commissioner for Refugees Volker Türk on Wednesday concluded his visit to Myanmar by calling on the government to allow unrestricted humanitarian access to needy communities and the voluntary and dignified return of refugees.

During his meeting with officials, the Assistant High Commissioner urged the Government to ensure a safe environment and protect all communities in Rakhine State. He also called for unrestricted humanitarian access to enable relief organizations to provide life-saving assistance and build confidence among needy communities.
Turk reiterated the right of return for the hundreds of thousands of refugees who had fled from Rakhine State to Bangladesh; he appealed for a safe, voluntary and sustainable return to their places of origin.

Turk welcomed the government's initiative to hold a joint workshop with UNHCR on international standards for voluntary repatriation on 31 October.
The Assistant High Commissioner confirmed UNHCR's readiness to support the Government and hoped that the workshop would be a step towards involving the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in the Government's voluntary repatriation plans.

Turk also welcomed the renewal of the Government's commitment to the speedy implementation of the recommendations of the Rakhine State Advisory Committee and said that those recommendations provided an important road map for moving forward.

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