ANKARA - A top UN official has said that international community cannot be silent in the face of suffering of persecuted Rohingya Muslims’ children in Myanmar.

“We cannot ignore the suffering faced by the Rohingya refugees currently sheltering in Bangladesh,” said Henrietta Fore, executive director of UNICEF, at a forum in Myanmar’s capital, Naypyitaw.

“We must work together to find a peaceful future for all,” added Fore, the first top UNICEF official

to have visited Myanmar in 30 years.

The UNICEF chief asked Myanmar to take steps to “rebuild the trust that is fundamental to every society.”

“But reconciliation must follow accountability,” she said, referring to persecution of Rohingya in Myanmar’s Rakhine state over the years.

Fore asked the Buddhist-majority country to roll out of a “universal maternal and child cash transfer” program in Rakhine and “ensure all children receive a birth certificate.”

She also called for implementation of recommendations made by an advisory commission on children in Rakhine.

“But as we discuss the next steps in our work together, I also hope to hear how the children most in need the children in the conflict-affected areas of the country, the hard-to-reach children, the children who are marginalized and suffer discrimination -- how they will be put first in our plans,” she said.

“In Rakhine state, this means supporting the implementation of the recommendations of the advisory commission led by the late Kofi Annan,” Fore added.

Calling for creating a safe environment for return of Rohingya from Bangladesh, Fore said that implementing the recommendations “will also go a long way toward creating the right conditions” for the return of the refugees from Bangladesh.

“We know, from the UNICEF teams working there, that the children in these camps are living a precarious and almost hopeless existence,” she said.

“We urge that the necessary steps are taken to enable their safe, voluntary and dignified return back to their homes, where their rights are respected and they can once again live peaceably with their neighbors.”