Republic of the Union of Myanmar
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
27 November 2019
1. Gambia, on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), has filed an application against Myanmar at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Under the Charter of the United Nations, all member states of the United Nations, including Myanmar, are bound by the Statute of the ICJ. This is an issue of high national interest affecting all nationals of Myanmar. The State Counsellor, in her capacity as Union Minister for Foreign Affairs, will lead the legal team to contest the case brought by Gambia to the ICJ.
2. The crime of ‘Genocide’ refers to acts committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national or racial group. It is an issue that concerns all civilized nations and peoples. Myanmar was the 42nd member state to sign the Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (‘Genocide Convention’) on 30th December 1949. Myanmar became a State Party to the Genocide Convention on 14th March 1956. In the process of seeking Parliament’s approval on 2nd September 1955, the Minister concerned declared to the Parliament, “I can state with full confidence that today Myanmar has not engaged in any act to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, racial or religious group or any other group. This has not happened today and it will not happen in the future”. Today, Myanmar is as resolute as we were when we ratified the Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.
3. It is heartening to see that people from all walks of life, those in the Union as well as those living abroad at present, are expressing their strong support for the State Counsellor and her leadership in the endeavours to contest the case at the ICJ. The issue before the ICJ is of national concern and affects the interests of all our people. Their support sustains us and their unity is the strength of the nation. The Government will not cast aspersions on any nation, race, religion, or group, either directly or indirectly, as we defend our nation at the ICJ.
Nay Pyi Taw
27 November 2019