We thank the President of the International Criminal Court for the presentation of the Court’s report. We also acknowledge with deep appreciation the work of the Court throughout the reporting period.
In 1998, the International Criminal Court was established with a mission to help put an end to impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole, and thus to contribute to the prevention of such crimes.
Bangladesh, which itself has experienced genocide and crimes against humanity during its 1971 war of liberation, joined the Court in reaffirmation of its commitment to ‘never again’. Since then, we remained steadfast in our pledge to upholding the principles and values enshrined in the Rome Statute and preserving the integrity and independence of ICC as a Court of law. We believe, by ensuring accountability for the most serious crimes committed by the individuals, the ICC not only promotes rule of law, it serves as a symbol of hope for victims and affected communities worldwide.
And right now, Mr. President, this hope is perhaps the most urgent remedy that we, as an international community, can offer to the civilians in Gaza, who have been going through dreadful atrocities for decades including in the course of current military operations by Israel. We therefore, welcome the announcement of the ICC Prosecutor to prioritize the investigation in the situation of Palestine. We call upon all parties including the civil society to cooperate with the Court in this important investigation.
We believe, this decades-long dehumanization of the Palestinians must end and the perpetrators must be held accountable. And ICC has the most vital role to play in this matter.
We note the report on the ongoing investigations on the question of forced deportation of the Rohingya minorities from Myanmar to Bangladesh. As a country hosting 1.2 million Rohingyas, we attach utmost importance to this investigation. We believe, this process will not only vindicate the rights of the Rohingya to justice, it would also serve as an important confidence-building measure for their safe and voluntary return to Myanmar, who continue to remain concerned about their safety in Myanmar in the absence of any accountability of the perpetrators.
Bangladesh is pleased to provide full cooperation to the Court and the Prosecutor’s office in connection with the investigation process, including access to the victims currently sheltered in Bangladesh. We call upon Myanmar to extend the same cooperation to the Court and help bring the perpetrators to justice.
We acknowledge the critical role played by the Trust Fund for Victims in responding to the harm suffered by victims within the Court’s jurisdiction. We also welcome the Court’s 2023–2025 Strategic Plans, which demonstrate its commitment to the “one Court principle” and reinforce its relationship with the Trust Fund for Victims. Bangladesh stands ready to support the implementation of these plans through necessary cooperation.
As an intergovernmental organization, ICC needs to uphold Geographical representation and gender balance in its structure. It is however, regrettable that Bangladesh is currently absolutely unrepresented in the ICC, despite being one of the most regular contributors to the Court’s budget.
We urge all possible efforts to ensure equitable geographical representation in the Court’s future recruitments. This will not only encourage non-State Parties to the Rome Statute to join the ICC but also complement the State Parties’ efforts in strengthening national judicial capacities to address war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide, while fostering enhanced cooperation between the ICC and the State Parties.
To conclude, Mr. President, 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. I thank you.