We, the undersigned, call on States, including the United States, United Kingdom and the member states of the European Union, Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to strongly encourage the Myanmar government to fully cooperate with the forthcoming Fact-Finding Mission into the human rights situation in Rakhine State, as well as active conflict areas in Kachin State and northern Shan State, as recently mandated by the United Nations Human Rights Council.
We, the undersigned members and partners of InterAction, urge you to support funding in FY2018 for poverty-focused international development and humanitarian assistance accounts at no less than the levels outlined in the attached recommendations and our accompanying Choose to Invest FY2018. We also urge you to fund the International Affairs Budget (function 150) at no less than $60 billion.
As 43 organizations working on humanitarian and development issues in some of the world’s poorest countries, we write to ask for your support in providing an additional $1 billion in supplemental funding for fiscal year 2017 in order to adequately respond to famine and famine-like conditions across four countries.
Refugees International condemns today’s heinous chemical weapons attack on civilians in Syria’s Idlib province, as well as the follow-on airstrikes targeting hospitals where scores of victims were being treated. The alleged repeated use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime during the ongoing conflict is a violation of international law and a war crime, as is the targeting of civilian medical facilities.
As participants prepare for the Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region conference in Brussels this week, Refugees International calls on the international community to recognize and respond to the continued urgency of humanitarian needs inside Syria, and of many Syrians in the surrounding region.
In a statement for the record before the Lantos Human Rights Commission, Refugees International outlined the plight of the Rohingya people of Myanmar, an ethnic minority that is one of the most persecuted groups in the world. More than one million Rohingya live in Myanmar today and face wide-ranging restrictions on their rights to move, work, marry, and even have children. More than 140,000 Rohingya were displaced by violence in 2012 and another 100,000 have been forced to flee their homes during a military crackdown over the last six months.
On March 18, the EU and Turkey will mark the one-year anniversary of their joint statement, which sought to stem the flows of asylum-seekers and migrants crossing from Turkey’s shores to the Greek islands. But as this anniversary approaches, Refugees International believes there little cause to celebrate and much more cause for concern. While EU leaders have presented the policy as a success, pointing to the significant decrease in the number of arrivals on the Greek islands since March 2016, the policy has also left thousands of refugees and asylum-seekers stranded in Greece in shocking conditions and has eroded the right to seek asylum in Europe.
Michel Gabaudan, president of Refugees International (RI), announced today that, after nearly seven years at the organization and following consultations with the RI Board of Directors, he will step down from the presidency of Refugees International within the next several months.
President Trump is likely to issue a new Executive Order this week, reworking his previous and much protested travel ban on immigrants and refugees. Given that the new Executive Order is unlikely to step back from the administration’s original refugee ban, RI continues to condemn and reject President Trump’s misguided anti-immigrant agenda.
The Rohingya, a Muslim ethnic minority group in Myanmar, have been systematically disenfranchised and increasingly marginalized, including through denial of citizenship and restriction of movement. Over the years successive UN Special Rapporteurs on the situation of human rights in Myanmar have reported serious continuing human rights violations against this community.
As you look to develop the FY2018 budget resolution, we urge you to protect international lifesaving humanitarian assistance, peace-building, and poverty-focused health and development programs in the Function 150 account by funding it at no less than $60 billion. Although this account represents only 1.4% of the federal budget, it is critical to saving millions of lives and advances U.S. interests overseas.