Statement of Bangladesh on the International Criminal Court by Mr. Tareq Md. Ariful Islam, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Permanent Mission of Bangladesh to the United Nations in New York, on 02 November 2020

Mr. President

My delegation takes note of the report presented by the Secretary General on the activities of the International Criminal Court (ICC). We acknowledge the continuation of work of the Court despite various practical challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. We also appreciate the important progress made by the Court in its activities during the reporting period.

In this regard, Bangladesh is pleased to co-sponsor the Resolution titled “Report of the International Criminal Court”.

Mr. President

Bangladesh is steadfast in its commitment to support global efforts to uphold justice and rule of law which is a critical pillar for maintenance of international peace and security. We recognize the International Criminal Court as one of the principal global criminal justice institutions and reaffirm our unwavering support to its independent and impartial judicial nature. We reiterate our commitment to uphold and defend the principles and values enshrined in the Rome Statute and to preserve its integrity.

Bangladesh is also committed to promoting universality and full implementation of the Rome Statute. We welcome the accession of Kiribati to the Rome Statue on 26 November 2019 increasing the number of the State Parties to 123.

Justice is a key pre-requisite for resolution of global conflicts and lasting global peace. We are more convinced of this having to bear the brunt of a conflict situation in our neighborhood which, as the Assembly is aware, has forcibly displaced 1.1 million Rohingyas to Bangladesh. Their safe and voluntary return to the Rakhine state is the only solution to this crisis. Therefore, in support to our bilateral efforts with Myanmar, we consider the investigation by the ICC Prosecutor’s Office into the situation of Rohingya minorities a critical confidence-building measure for ensuring their safe and voluntary return. As an affected country, we welcomed the ruling of the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber on the application of the Prosecutor to open investigation into the situation of Bangladesh/Myanmar.  We are following the investigation by the Prosecutor with particular interest.

This year, the Office of the Prosecutor conducted its first mission to Bangladesh following the opening of the investigation. During the mission the Office engaged with relevant government ministries, United Nations entities, civil society partners and the diplomatic community; conducted outreach activities to provide information about the investigation to the affected communities; and advanced operational and logistical issues to allow for the start of investigative activities in the Rohingya camps in Bangladesh.

Bangladesh remains committed to rendering necessary support to the ICC Registry as well as the Office of the Prosecutor in ensuring justice to the Rohingya victims. In this context, Bangladesh supports the Canada’s continued call for the UN Security Council to refer the Situation in Myanmar to the ICC.

Mr.  President,

We stress that cooperation, assistance, and support of State parties to the Rome Statute as well as other States remain critical for discharging ICC’s mandate in a sustained and meaningful manner. In this regard, we support the continuous efforts of ICC to enlarge its cooperation network in the region and join call of the Court to all State Parties to cooperate with its investigations, including Myanmar in this regard.

We also call upon Myanmar and its domestic legal/judicial mechanisms to cooperate with the ICC in the spirit of complementarity.

Mr. President,

We attach importance to enhancing voluntary contributions for the Trust Fund for Victims to deliver on its reparation and assistance mandates. As the designated facilitator, Bangladesh is making efforts to engage with the concerned State Parties towards settling their outstanding arrears.

To conclude, we reiterate the need for upholding the solidarity among State Parties, and the integrity and credibility of ICC as the Court of last resort in the overarching interest of fighting impunity for the gravest crimes under international law under its jurisdiction.

I thank you.