Canadian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Benoit Préfontaine on Friday shared his country’s intention to intervene jointly with the Netherlands in The Gambia’s case against Myanmar at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
“We consider it our obligation to support the effort before the ICJ which is of concern to all of humanity,” he said.
Benoit Préfontaine was addressing the 2nd International Conference on “The Rohingya Crisis in Comparative Perspective’ hosted by the Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction in collaboration with Center for Genocide Studies of Dhaka University.”
While the full scope of their intervention has yet to be determined, he advised that Canada intends to pay special attention to crimes related to sexual and gender-based violence, including rape.
Canada has been a leading advocate in international fora for accountability for the Rohingya crisis since its outset in August 2017.
“Concerted cooperation and coordination with our international partners has significantly advanced international accountability processes to date,” said the high commissioner.
Canada has played a key role in the passing of several resolutions before the United Nations General Assembly and the Human Rights Council, and worked to establish the Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar.
The Canadian envoy applauded Bangladesh’s efforts to support both the ICC and ICJ processes including their recent announcement of $500,000 USD to the OIC fund for The Gambia’s legal team.
Canada said it continues to support the unprecedented investigation underway by the International Criminal Court to assess the crime of forced deportation, and to call for the UNSC to refer the situation to the ICC.
While noting that more than three years have now passed since the events of August 2017, the high commissioner assured Bangladesh that Canada is continuing to put pressure on Myanmar to meaningfully address the atrocities committed against the Rohingya, and called on Myanmar to implement the provisional measures to prevent all acts of genocide as per the preliminary ruling issued by the ICJ in the Gambia v. Myanmar case on 23 January 2020.
The Canadian envoy also explained that Canada’s focus on accountability is not just about seeking justice for survivors, but seeking protection and rights for the Rohingya who remain in Myanmar and those who want to return.
Addressing impunity and ensuring justice in Myanmar is essential to ensuring a sustainable solution to the crisis, he said.
Source: Prothom Alo