Statement under Agenda Item 87: The Scope and Principles of Universal Jurisdiction at the Sixth Committee of the 73rdSession of the UN General Assembly
Delivered by: Mr. Tareq Md. Ariful Islam, Deputy Permanent Repersentative
Date and venue: Thursday, 11 October 2018, Trusteeship Council Chamber
Thank you,Mr. Chairman.
Under this agenda item, Bangladesh aligns itself with the statement delivered by the delegation of Islamic Republic of Iran on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).
We maintain our position that universal jurisdiction can be asserted particularly in prosecuting most serious international crimes. It need not necessarily supplant other jurisdictional bases such as territoriality and nationality. This, in our view, appears to be the most pragmatic approach on the question of universal jurisdiction in order to pre-empt and prevent its possible abuse from undue political considerations.
We thank the Secretary General for furnishing relevant inputs received from Member States on their respective national laws and practices in relation to the exercise of universal jurisdiction. These inputs reveal the broad range of crimes falling under the purview of universal jurisdiction exercised by individual Member States, and also the spectrum of international legal instruments that are referred to in this connection. This reinforces the continued importance of sharing such information about the evolving situation across different national jurisdictions.
We reiterate NAM’s suggestion to consider establishing a mechanism to monitor the application of universal jurisdiction, possibly under the aegis of the Working Group established pursuant to General Assembly Resolution 72/120. We would take note of the Working Group Chair’s suggestion to advance concrete work through discussions during the inter-sessional period, if need be. In our view, the NAM suggestion could be a possible topic for such discussions in view of the lack of consensus on assigning the International Law Commission with further work on this.
We have taken note of the work being done by the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) to monitor and support developments in national jurisdictions, especially in connection with grave breaches of the international humanitarian law. Bangladesh would remain open to further deepening discussions with ICRC on such issues in relation to our compliance with the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols. The National IHL Committee, among others, can be a potentially useful platform for the purpose.
I thank you.