Joint statement of Canada and the Kingdom of the Netherlands regarding the Gambia’s action to address accountability in Myanmar

Statement

December 9, 2019 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

“Canada and the Kingdom of the Netherlands welcome the Gambia’s application before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against Myanmar on the alleged violation of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Genocide Convention). In order to uphold international accountability and prevent impunity, Canada and the Netherlands hereby express their intention to jointly explore all options to support and assist the Gambia in these efforts.

“The Genocide Convention embodies the solemn pledge to prevent the crime of genocide and hold those responsible to account. Canada and the Netherlands consider it their obligation to support the Gambia before the ICJ, as it should concern all of humanity.

“In 2017, the world witnessed an exodus of more than 700,000 Rohingya from Rakhine State. They sought refuge from targeted violence, mass murder, and sexual and gender-based violence by Myanmar security forces, the very people who should have protected them.

“For decades, the Rohingya have suffered systemic discrimination and exclusion, marred by waves of abhorrent violence.  These facts have been corroborated by several investigations, including those conducted by the UN Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar and human rights organizations. They include crimes that constitute acts described in Article II of the Genocide Convention.

“In light of this evidence, Canada and the Kingdom of the Netherlands strongly believe this is a matter that is rightfully brought to the ICJ, so that it can provide judgment on whether acts of genocide have been committed. We call upon all State Parties to the Genocide Convention to support the Gambia in its efforts to address these violations.

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