Joint statement of Canada and the Kingdom of the Netherlands regarding today’s decision of the International Court of Justice in the Rohingya genocide case between The Gambia and Myanmar

Canada and the Kingdom of the Netherlands welcome the decision of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) of today, 22 July 2022, on the Court’s jurisdiction and the admissibility of the case brought by The Gambia against Myanmar alleging violations of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Genocide Convention). By a vote of 15 to 1, the Court has declared that it has jurisdiction and that the case is admissible, with the Court unanimously dismissing three of the four objections raised by Myanmar. Having been declared admissible, the case now moves to the merits phase of the proceedings.

Canada and the Netherlands hereby reaffirm their joint intention to intervene in these proceedings. They recall that The Gambia has argued, in its application, that Myanmar’s security forces perpetrate widespread and systemic “clearance operations” against the Rohingya. It has stated that “genocidal acts committed during these operations were intended to destroy the Rohingya as a group, in whole or in part, by the use of mass murder, rape and other forms of sexual violence, as well as the systematic destruction by fire of their villages, often with inhabitants locked inside burning houses”. These conditions have caused over one million Rohingya to flee to Bangladesh since 2016. The situation has continued to deteriorate with the escalation of violent repression, inflicting yet more displacement and suffering on ethnic and religious minorities in Myanmar since the military coup of February 2021.  

Canada and the Netherlands, recalling that the Genocide Convention  requires States parties to prevent the crime of genocide and hold those responsible to account, reiterate their call to all States Parties to the Genocide Convention to support efforts addressing these violations.