World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


UN Experts Call For Halt To Contentious Tourism Resort In Bangladesh

GENEVA (9 February 2021) – UN human rights experts* said today Bangladesh should suspend the construction of a large-scale tourist resort in the Chittagong Hills Tracts because it threatens to dispossess the indigenous Mro peoples of their traditional lands and cause serious environmental damage.

The Bangladesh Army and Sikder Group conglomerate company R&R Holdings Limited started construction in September 2020 on Mro land in the Bandarban district.

The experts said they were disturbed about irregular land leasing practices and the Army’s denial of access for grazing and water resources on traditional lands the Mro depend on for culture and identity.

“We are concerned that threats and intimidation have escalated in January against indigenous human rights defenders who are peacefully defending the land rights of the community,” said the experts. “We call on the government to allow peaceful demonstrations, to refrain from threatening protesters and to refrain from the use of force against peaceful assemblies.”

The five-star tourism project will reportedly include a Marriott hotel and would require an extensive network of buildings, roads, drainage and sewage system which would pollute and harm the biodiversity in the area. Some 10,000 people will be at risk of eviction due to construction.

‘We call on good faith consultations to be held in order to seek the free, prior and informed consent from the affected indigenous community,” the experts said. ‘It is also essential that a thorough environmental and social impact assessment is undertaken in the area.”

"The Government of Bangladesh must urgently ensure a safe environment for those who defend the environment and the rights of indigenous peoples and protect them from reprisals,” urged the experts.

In December 2020, several United Nations experts highlighted their concerns in a joint communication to the Government of Bangladesh and to R&R Holdings Limited and Marriott lnternational. All communications and responses will be publicly available here on 20 February 2021.

*The experts: Francisco Cali Tzay, Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples; Dante Pesce (Chair), Surya Deva (Vice-Chair), Githu Muigai, Elżbieta Karska, and Anita Ramasastry, Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises; David R. Boyd, Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment; Mary Lawlor, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Myanmar: Military Must Stop Murdering And Jailing Protestors – Bachelet

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Thursday said security forces in Myanmar must “halt their vicious crackdown on peaceful protestors,” following another day of deadly violence across the country on Wednesday... More>>

Syria: Economic Decline, Rising Hunger And Surging Humanitarian Needs

Syria’s fragile economy has “suffered multiple shocks” over the past 18 months, with its currency plummeting and joblessness swelling as people struggle to cover their basic needs, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator told the Security Council ... More>>

OECD: Final Quarter Of 2020 Shows Continued Recovery In G20 International Merchandise Trade

G20 international merchandise trade continued to rebound in the fourth quarter of 2020 ( exports up 7.2% and imports up 6.8%), following the sharp falls seen in the first half of 2020, as lockdown measures affected trade globally. Although growth ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

UNFCCC: Greater Climate Ambition Urged As Initial NDC Synthesis Report Is Published

UN Climate Change today published the Initial NDC Synthesis Report, showing nations must redouble efforts and submit stronger, more ambitious national climate action plans in 2021 if they’re to achieve the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global temperature rise by 2°C—ideally 1.5°C—by the end of the century... More>>

2021: Critical Year To ‘reset Our Relationship With Nature’ – UN Chief

During this time of “crisis and fragility”, the UN chief told the United Nations Environment Assembly on Monday that human well-being and prosperity can be vastly improved by prioritizing nature-based solutions. Painting a picture of the turmoil ... More>>

Paris Agreement: UN Secretary-General António Guterres To Mark U.S. Reentry With Envoy For Climate John Kerry

Watch live at UN Secretary-General António Guterres will join U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John F. Kerry at an event marking the United States’ reentry into the Paris Agreement this Friday. The discussion with the Secretary-General ... More>>