As non-member, Myanmar will not accept ICC referrals

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Director-General U Zaw Htay, Ministry of the State Counsellor’s Office. Photo: Kyaw Ye Swe

Efforts to refer Myanmar to the International Criminal Court (ICC), of which it is not a member, concerning the conflicts in Rakhine State will be rejected, said Director-General U Zaw Htay of the Ministry of the State Counsellor’s Office.
U Zaw Htay made the remark yesterday at a press conference for the country’s ministries on their second year performance held at the Ministry of Information in Nay Pyi Taw.
“The UN has set a policy regarding the ICC where it only has jurisdiction in its member countries. The Vienna Convention on International Treaties states that for a country to follow the 12 international agreements, it needs to first be registered and verified before it can become a member state,” said U Zaw Htay.
He added that even EU countries who are ICC member-states are not subject to referrals concerning the Syria conflicts, therefore it would be unconventional for Myanmar to accept referrals to the ICC.
Because of recent terrorist attacks and the resulting security measures, a large number of people are fleeing Rakhine State into Bangladesh.
“Bangladesh is a member-state. and the ICC requested Bangladesh’s observations which will be reviewed by three ICC judges.

This is their process, but if you look at ICC’s history, it cannot take action against non-member states. If they try to proceed with something that cannot be done, we will not accept it,” U Zaw Htay said.
“At first they targeted military leaders, but now they are adding government leaders to their list and this is creating complications and confusion among the people. This is now a matter of our country’s sovereignty, which is every country’s right to be free from interference from foreign entities. It’s in the UN Charter, too. But due to various reasons such as terrorist groups killing civilians and destroying villages, the military had to intervene. Without security forces, everyone would be in trouble. Every country has the Right of Defence, and it will defend its people from terrorism,” said U Zaw Htay.


By Min Thit (MNA)

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