SAFE to say the world is pretty bleak right now, with tensions rising and dozens of flashpoints about to boil over.

But amidst all that it is important to remember ongoing crises, not just the new upcoming ones. Yesterday was the third anniversary of the start of the crisis imposed on the Rohingya people, who were brutally and systematically targeted and displaced by the government in Myanmar.

August 25 marks the anniversary of the outbreak of a conflict in western Myanmar’s Rakhine state that drove hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims from their homes. It is estimated that up to three-quarters of the Rohingya people are today living outside of Myanmar, and the UNHCR have registered more than 860,000 Rohingya refugees in the refugee settlements in Cox’s Bazar in eastern Bangladesh.

Respecting and recognising their suffering and courage means ensuring they are not forgotten as the crisis enters a fourth year. The international community must not only maintain support for refugees and their host communities, but adapt to needs and redouble the search for solutions.

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I have said before in the House of Commons that where I agree with UK Government policy and don’t see a distinct Scottish angle, I’ll agree and support. There are plenty of areas where Scotland does see the world differently without pretending we would reinvent the wheel for everything. And on the Rohingya crisis I have agreed with the UK Government’s willingness to address the acts of genocide and ethnic cleansing in Myanmar with the forcefulness and attention that it deserves.

This also proved they can do it when they try. Last month the UK’s special ambassador on human rights, Rita French, addressed Tatmadaw “clearance operations” during an interactive dialogue with the special rapporteur in Myanmar. We can always do more, but the UK is far from doing nothing.

I do not doubt the UK’s commitment to human rights in the case of the Rohingya. However, I do believe that the situation in the country, and indeed other humanitarian crises around the world such as the situation in Yemen or in Xinjiang, demonstrates the necessity of a refreshed approach for ensuring that the UK does all it can to prevent atrocities: particularly identity-based genocide. This is a new suggestion and something I and the SNP group at Westminster is working on suggesting as part of the UK Integrated Review into Defence and Foreign policy. An independent Scotland will do things differently, that’s the point, but in the meantime I believe I have a duty in my role as foreign affairs spokesperson to use the opportunities we have at Westminster to highlight what our policy would look like.

Atrocity crimes, even when they take place in remote locations, have consequences for global stability and security. The UK is a permanent member of the UN Security Council, and its responsibility for matters of global peace and security. Preventing atrocities is therefore a core function for any UK government.

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The SNP will proceed in good faith in working with the Government and indeed all parties that want to give maximum effect to the UK’s commitment to human rights worldwide. Notwithstanding our disappointment and anger at the way the decision was taken to abolish the Department for International Development, we recognise the opportunity now at hand through the review for the UK to take a more principled and effective role on the world stage.

WITHIN this the SNP calls for developing an atrocity prevention strategy. Such a strategy would help recognise, communicate and where necessary respond to risks of identity-based violence and mass atrocities. This strategy would provide a framework to draw on all parts of government whose work can contribute to decreasing the likelihood of atrocities. Such a strategy should neither duplicate existing work in areas such as the protection of civilians; instead it should provide a framework, and ideally inform the development of an institutional architecture or working methodology, which will enable more focused and effective work in the new Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), in embassies and across Whitehall for the purpose of preventing atrocities.

The situation in Rakhine is a stark reminder of the threats facing minorities around the world, and their vulnerability to state-sponsored violence.

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The UK can do more to support them and I will be submitting worked out proposals to do so in the context of the review.

We have a lot of good expertise in Scotland on conflict resolution and international development, and I want to be a voice for that expertise as we highlight what more the UK can do, or where the UK is going wrong or not acting at all, and what an independent Scotland will do differently.

We will obviously focus our external efforts on EU co-operation, and the suggestions work just as well for the EU as the UK. We’ll put our principles into action.