‘We urge the authorities of Myanmar to take active, effective steps enabling the Rohingya to live in peace and dignity in Myanmar’
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has welcomed the order issued by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Thursday in connection with the genocide case against Myanmar.
At the same time, the top UN human rights body asked Myanmar to implement the order fully, immediately and unconditionally.
“We welcome 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,” said Liz Throssell, spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, in a statement forwarded from Geneva on Friday.
“The High Commissioner [Michelle Bachelet] has 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,” it said, adding that she has frequently called for the full protection of their human rights, and genuine accountability for the serious violations and abuses they have endured.
As the United Nations secretary-general noted on Thursday, these provisional measures indicated by the ICJ are binding under international law, said the statement.
“The UN Human Rights Office calls on Myanmar to immediately and unconditionally implement them in full, consistently with its obligations under the Charter and the Court’s Statute,” it said.
The proceedings before the ICJ, the principal UN judicial organ, 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, continued the statement.
“Alongside other international investigative and accountability processes that are likewise ongoing, we urge 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,” it said.
The statement went on saying: “We note that the Court, for purposes of its decision yesterday [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,” it said.
Addressing these legacies of impunity remains an essential precondition to a future of sustainable peace and enduring justice for all people in Myanmar, it added.