Following the International Court of Justices’ decision to order Myanmar to take all measures in its power to protect the Rohingya minority from genocide, Maria Arena stated:
“Thousands of Rohingya people have been killed or subjected to horrific violence over the past years. This decision of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) underscores the paramount importance of guaranteeing universal and equal enjoyment of human rights, with special attention to the most vulnerable. It is the first time that a UN member state has relied on its adhesion to the Genocide Convention to bring an action before the ICJ. It is also exceptional that a UN member state will have to report on the steps it is taking to prevent the continuation of its alleged actions. Lastly, and above all, it is an important decision because of its expected direct impact on the 600 000 Rohingya people in need of urgent protection. I believe it is essential to use the current momentum, to jointly support the role and mandate of the International Court of Justice and to use all means to ensure the enforcement of its decisions.”
Last November, the Gambia filed a case against Myanmar before the International Court of Justice, alleging violations of the Genocide Convention against the Rohingya community. Last week (on 23 January), the International Court of Justice ordered Myanmar to protect the Rohingya groups on its territory, by taking all measures to prevent genocide acts, such as killing, causing harm, deliberately inflicting conditions of life calculated to bring about the group’s destruction and imposing measures intended to prevent births. Myanmar will now have to report on the protection measures taken while preserving evidence of allegations of genocide acts.
Last week, the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights organised an exchange of views on the human rights situation in Myanmar with Nicholas Koumjian, Head of the United Nations Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar and Yasmin Ullah, Free Rohingya Coalition (FRC).