UN rights office asks Myanmar to implement ICJ order

Myanmar must do more to protect Rohingyas: UK

United News of Bangladesh . Dhaka | Published: 17:25, Jan 24,2020 | Updated: 01:04, Jan 25,2020


The United Nations Human Rights Office called on Myanmar to immediately and unconditionally implement the top UN court’s order in full, consistently with its obligations under the charter and the court’s statute. 

Meanwhile, British minister for Asia and the Pacific Heather Wheeler had said that they encourage the  government of Myanmar to comply with the provisional measures, which were legally-binding, and implement the commission’s recommendations.

‘We welcome the International Court of Justice’s decision today on provisional measures,’ said the minister in a statement.

The court was clear that Myanmar must do more to protect the Rohingyas, Wheeler said.

‘The Independent Commission of Enquiry’s admission of atrocities and its recommendations are an important first step towards meaningful domestic accountability, though we don’t agree with much of the commission’s analysis,’ according to Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

‘The proceedings before the court are vitally important, opening up a path towards judicial determination of Myanmar’s possible responsibility as a state under the Genocide Convention for the acts of persecution and severe repression of the Rohingya,’ spokesperson for the UN high commissioner for human rights Liz Throssell said in a statement issued from Geneva on Friday.    

In a sweeping legal victory for members of the Rohingya Muslim minority, the United Nations’ top court on Thursday ordered Myanmar to take all measures in its power to prevent genocide against the Rohingya people.

The court’s president, Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf, said the International Court of Justice ‘is of the opinion that the Rohingya in Myanmar remain extremely vulnerable.’

The court added that its order for so-called provisional measures intended to protect the Rohingya was binding ‘and creates international legal obligations’ on Myanmar.

At the end of an hour-long sitting in the court’s wood-panelled Great Hall of Justice, judges also ordered Myanmar to report to them in four months on what measures the country had taken to comply with the order and then to report every six months as the case moved slowly through the world court.

Rights activists immediately welcomed the unanimous decision.

Alongside, other international investigative and accountability processes that were likewise on-going, she said, the UN human rights office urged the authorities of Myanmar to cooperate fully with all of these inquiries, and at the same time to take active, effective steps enabling the Rohingya to live in peace and dignity in Myanmar, able to enjoy all their human rights.      

 The UN Human Rights Office welcomed the order by the International Court of Justice that Myanmar must take ‘all measures within its power’ to protect the members of the Rohingya group  from all future acts that may amount to genocide under the provisions of Article II of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

 The high commissioner had repeatedly expressed serious concerns about the situation of the Rohingya following the repeated waves of violence suffered by them, most recently in 2016 and 2017.

She had frequently called for the full protection of their human rights, and genuine accountability for the serious violations and abuses they have endured.

As the secretary-general noted on Thursday, these provisional measures indicated by the court were binding under international law. 

The UN Human Rights Office noted that the court, for purposes of its decision on Thursday, repeatedly referenced the conclusions of the International Independent Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar, mandated by the UN Human Rights Council, as well as the resolutions of the UN General Assembly addressing the situation of the Rohingya.

The Fact-Finding Mission last year concluded that there was a serious risk that genocidal actions directed at the Rohingya may recur.

More broadly, the Fact-Finding Mission also identified human rights abuses by the military against other ethnic minorities during decades of conflict.

Addressing these legacies of impunity remains an essential precondition to a future of sustainable peace and enduring justice for all people in Myanmar, according to a message received from Geneva.    

Under these measures, Myanmar was specifically ordered, in relation to the members of the Rohingya group on its territory, to take all measures within its power to prevent the commission of all acts of genocide, as defined in the convention, and to ensure that its military, as well as any irregular armed units which may be subject to its control, direction or influence, do not commit any such acts, or of conspiracy  to commit genocide, of direct and public incitement to commit genocide, of attempt to commit genocide, or of complicity in genocide.

Myanmar was also ordered by the court to take effective measures to prevent the destruction and ensure the preservation of evidence related to allegations of genocide, as defined in the convention, and to report to the court on all measures taken to give effect to the order within four months of the order, and every six months thereafter, until final decision of the court on the case.

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