YANGON, Dec. 19 (Xinhua) -- Myanmar and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have vowed to cooperate in repatriating displaced persons from Bangladesh, Myanmar News Agency reported on Wednesday.
Speaking at a coordination meeting in Myanmar's capital Nay Phi Taw on Tuesday between the Office of the ASEAN Secretary-General and the Myanmar government, Minister of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement Dr. Win Myat Aye said that the cooperation would support the activities of the trilateral memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between the Myanmar government, UN Development Program (UNDP) and UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
The undertaking would also support the implementation of the agreements between Myanmar and Bangladesh and the collaboration is important for not only countries in the region but also for the international community, the minister said.
ASEAN Secretary-General Lim Jock Hoi said needs assessment, based on the ASEAN Emergency Response and Assessment Team (ASEAN-ERAT) Guidelines, would be conducted in accordance with the host country's rules and regulations, prioritized process and protocols.
Myanmar announced readiness to receive back the first batch of 2,261 displaced people from Bangladesh on Nov. 15 but there was such people seen returning on the designated day due to various reasons.
However, Myanmar pledged to work on repatriation, resettlement and reintegration processes in accordance with the bilateral agreement on physical arrangement between Myanmar and Bangladesh, urging the UNHCR to continue assisting the government's repatriation process for those who really want to return back to Myanmar's western Rakhine state.
Myanmar has been inviting cooperation from home and the international community to help the country rebuild and resettle the conflict-torn state.
Myanmar and Bangladesh agreed in August for early repatriation of the displaced persons fleeing Rakhine state to Bangladesh.
On June 6 this year, Myanmar also signed a MoU with the UNDP and the UNHCR on assisting Myanmar government's repatriation process.
Myanmar government has assured the displaced persons of voluntary, safe and dignified repatriation in receiving the returnees.