(Myanmar agreed to receive the displaced people who fled to Bangladesh in November last year and August this year but very few people returned.)

Myat Win Kyaw | DMG
November 7, Yangon

Since Myanmar isn’t a signatory to the Rome Statute, it doesn’t have an obligation to respect and follow the rules of the International Criminal Court (ICC), said U Hau Do Suan, the Permanent Representative of Myanmar to the United Nations in New York.

According to Myanmar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, U Hau Do Suan made the statement during the 26th session of the 74th United Nations General Assembly on October 4 while the 2018-19 report of the ICC was being discussed.

“Nowhere in ICC charter does it say that the court has jurisdiction over the state which isn’t a party to the statue,” U Hau Do Suan said.

The ICC Pre-Trail Chamber decided on September 6, 2018 that the court had jurisdiction over the Arakan State issue.

U Hau Do Suan responded that Myanmar rejected that decision, as it was wrong and suspicious according to procedure and law. 

“According to laws, the ICC prosecutor isn’t correct over the Myanmar issue. She has built up the case with politically motivated intentions and self-interests,” U Hau Do Suan said.

He added that the ICC Prosecutor’s request for investigation excludes the atrocity crimes committed by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) which forced many people to leave their houses and relies heavily on human rights reports that contain factual errors and unsubstantiated narratives. 

Myanmar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the Government of Myanmar is working with the help of Bangladesh, United Nations Development Program (UNDP), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and ASEAN as well as the alliance countries from the region for voluntary repatriation of the displaced people, and there are more than 400 people who have so far returned home voluntarily from Bangladesh.

U Hau Do Suan said in the statement that the decision about the ICC report which was approved in this meeting wasn’t associated with Myanmar at all, and that should be put on record officially, and Myanmar strongly rejected an unlawful call for a referral of Myanmar to the ICC by some member States.

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