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Bangladesh reiterates support for the Rome Statute as it draws world’s attention to the Rohingya issue

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Hague: Bangladesh reiterated its support for the Rome Statute as it urges the world to bring an end to the culture of impunity and to work towards full implementation of the Statute. Bangladesh Ambassador to the Netherlands, Sheikh Mohammed Belal made this statement at the 16th Assembly of States Parties of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in New York on 7 December 2017. Bangladesh also expressed its appreciation to the States Parties for electing Bangladesh, along with Japan and Palestine from the Asia-Pacific group, to join in the apex consultative body of the ICC known as Bureau comprising 23 States Parties.

In Bangladesh, our ongoing efforts to bring to justice those who had committed genocide and crimes against humanity during our War of Liberation in 1971 are premised on the ‘complementarity’ principle of the Rome Statute, Ambassador Belal informed the Assembly. Bangladesh, however, attaches due importance to the institutional arrangements for disseminating ICC’s norms and practices with interested national jurisdictions for further strengthening ‘complementarity’, bearing in mind the varied contexts of national jurisdictions.

Bangladesh also offered to share its national experience in ensuring justice for victims of sexual and gender-based violence, and the judicial and administrative efforts made to ensure due recognition and reparation for such victims.

Reiterating Bangladesh’s resolve to see the activation of the ICC’s jurisdiction over the crime of aggression for prohibition of the use of force as enshrined in the UN Charter, Bangladesh Ambassador urged all to work towards a world free from aggression.

Drawing world’s attention to the devastating consequences of a prevalent culture of impunity in Myanmar’s Rakhine State, Ambassador Belal updated the Assembly on Bangladesh’s genuine effort to work with the government of Myanmar to facilitate the voluntary return of the forcibly displaced people to their homes in safety, security and dignity. Ambassador Belal also shared the insights from Rohingyas, as they shared with the UN and civil society, expressing their appeal for bringing to justice those responsible for the commission of such heinous crimes in order for them to regain the trust and confidence to return to Myanmar.

Bangladesh Ambassador regretted that the Myanmar authorities have not given access to the Human Rights Council’s Fact Finding Mission, and instead conducted an investigation by its own military that exonerated the security forces from any responsibility or wrongdoing.

Ambassador Belal reassured the Assembly that Bangladesh remains committed towards working for a cosmopolitan world order than remaining preoccupied only with own narrow interests. “If our Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, whom the world came to know as Mother of Humanity, remained occupied only with our own interests, she would have never had found space for a million Rohingyas” Ambassador Belal informed the States Parties. Bangladesh Ambassador urged all to do their part on the side of humanity as Bangladesh did its part by doing what is right.

All 123 State Parties of the ICC have joined the 16th Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute. A large contingent of civil society and NGO delegates are also attending the Assembly as observers and guests.

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