Press Conference on Implementation of Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Accord in Bangladesh
At a Headquarters press conference on the 24th of May, human rights activists urged the United Nations to play a greater role in pushing for implementation of the 1997 Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Accord in Bangladesh, which was intended to protect the rights of the area’s indigenous peoples.
“The peace accord is a quite good one, but the problem has been in its implementation,” said Lars-Anders Baer, a former member of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues charged by that body’s ninth session with visiting Bangladesh to carry out a study of the accord’s implementation. The Forum had addressed the issue many times, but the pressure on the Chittagong indigenous peoples, and the use of violence against them, had escalated, he added. Expected to present his report, “Study on the status of implementation of the Chittagong Hill Tracts Accord of 1997” (document E/C.19/2011/6), to the Forum’s ongoing tenth session on Wednesday, Mr. Baer said it includes a series of recommendations for the Government of Bangladesh, a variety of stakeholders and the Permanent Forum. Issued on 18 February 2011, it recommends that the Permanent Forum dedicate the special theme of its twelfth session, or a technical seminar, to conflict-prevention initiatives in the territories of indigenous peoples. The Chittagong Hill Tracts in south-eastern Bangladesh are home to 11 indigenous groups.