Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Questions (70)

Maureen O'Sullivan


70. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will follow the lead of other states by calling on Myanmar to be brought before the International Court of Justice for genocidal actions against the Rohingya; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46255/19]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

I am aware that the Gambia has just yesterday submitted an application to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) alleging breaches of the Genocide Convention by Myanmar.

Ireland remains deeply concerned over the findings of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission (IIFFM), and other special mandate holders regarding gross human rights violations committed by the Myanmar Military Forces (Tatmadaw), many of which amount to the gravest crimes under international law.

These include a finding by the IIFFM that there is sufficient information to warrant the investigation and prosecution of senior officials in the Tatmadaw chain of command, so that a competent court can determine their liability for genocide in relation to the situation in Rakhine State. Ireland, together with our EU partners, has consistently called for the accountability of those who may be responsible for such crimes and has engaged in a number of actions at international level in this regard.

The EU has also worked with international partners, including the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, to press for action at UN level including acting as pen-holder on several key initiatives. These include the establishment of both the UNHRC mandated Independent International Fact-Finding Mission and the recently operational Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar, to further investigate and prepare for fair and independent criminal proceedings in accordance with international standards in order to address the issue of accountability.

At EU level, targeted restrictive measures have been put in place by the EU against senior military officers of the Tatmadaw responsible for these acts and further measures are being kept under review. In addition, the European Commission is currently reviewing Myanmar’s trade preferences under the framework of the Everything But Arms (EBA) scheme.

Ireland will continue to work with our EU and other international partners to urge Myanmar to hold those responsible for these crimes to account and to press for a long term sustainable resolution to the Rohingya crisis that will provide a pathway for refugees to return.

This approach is considered to be the most effective one at present. Ireland is closely monitoring developments at the ICJ and will continue to liaise with international partners on the best way forward.