New York

17 May 2015

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on the situation in the Andaman Sea and the Straits of Malacca

The Secretary-General is increasingly concerned about the plight of migrants and refugees stranded in the Andaman Sea and Straits of Malacca.

In recent days, the Secretary-General has spoken to the Prime Ministers of Malaysia, H.E. Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak, and Thailand, H.E. Mr. Prayuth Chan-ocha. The Deputy Secretary-General has also spoken to the Foreign Minister of Bangladesh, H.E. Mr. Abul Hasan Mahmood Ali, and the Deputy-Minister for Multilateral Affairs of Indonesia, H.E. Mr. Hasan Kleib.

In their discussions with leaders in the region, they reiterated the need to protect lives and uphold international law. Furthermore, they stressed the need for the timely disembarkation of migrants. They also urged leaders to uphold the obligation of rescue at sea and maintain the prohibition on refoulement.

The Secretary-General and Deputy Secretary-General also encouraged leaders to participate in the upcoming regional meeting in Bangkok on the migrant situation. They hope that the meeting will lead to comprehensive outcomes at the regional and international levels.

The United Nations stands ready to assist all efforts to address the situation, including at the proposed meeting.