Bangladesh has been unanimously elected a member of the Bureau of International Criminal Court (ICC) for the year 2019-20.
The election was held on December 5 in The Hague of the Netherlands where 123 nations voted at the 17th session of the Assembly of States Parties (ASP) to the Rome Statute of the ICC.
Bangladesh became a member of the Bureau, the apex consultative body comprising 21 out of 123 state parties, for the first time since it joined the ICC in 2010.
The 17th session of the ASP, that also marks the 20th anniversary of the ICC, commenced on December 5 at World Forum convention centre in The Hague. It will conclude on December 12.
Bangladesh will represent Asia-Pacific region in the Bureau along with South Korea and Japan. All major decisions such as adoption of budget and electing judges, prosecutors and deputy prosecutors are made by the Bureau.
Speaking at the opening session, ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said, “[Following careful assessment] we opened preliminary examinations with respect to the situations in Venezuela, the Philippines, and concerning the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.”
Fatou also said she sought a judicial ruling on the scope of the court's jurisdiction over the alleged deportation of the Rohingyas from Myanmar to Bangladesh.
AMBASSADOR BELAL ELECTED DIRECTOR OF TFV AT ICC
The same day, during the inaugural session of the assembly, Bangladesh Ambassador to The Hague Sheikh Mohammed Belal was elected to the Board of Directors of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Trust Fund for Victims (TFV) for the next three years.
“Bangladesh's history of its own sacrifice and endurance as a victim of genocide during the Liberation War had always encouraged it to work for the cause of victims and for their reparations, where possible,” said a press release issued by Bangladesh Embassy in The Hague.