Bangladesh Ambassador to The Hague gets elected to Board of Directors of ICC Trust Fund for Victims

The seventeenth session of the Assembly of States Parties (ASP) to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) held on 05 December 2018 in The Hague, in a vote by 123 nations, elected Bangladesh Ambassador to The Hague Sheikh Mohammed Belal on the Board of Directors of the Trust Fund for Victims (TFV) for next three years.

Bangladesh’s history of its own sacrifice and endurance as a victim of genocide, during her war of liberation, had always encouraged Bangladesh to work for the cause of victims and for their reparations, where possible. This election could, therefore, be seen as an acknowledgement of international communities’ trust and confidence in Bangladesh.

Ambassador Belal was a candidate nominated and supported by the Government of Bangladesh. The fact that he was the only nominee from the group of the Asian states, is a testimony to Ambassador Belal’s highly professional and successful work in The Hague in different international organizations as well.

Ambassador Belal previously also served, first ever for Bangladesh, as Chairperson of the Executive Council of the OPCW for the period from 2015 to 2017. Ambassador Belal also served as Facilitator of the ICC for a term in 2015-2016 for the Victims’ portfolio. The five seats on the ICC TFV Board of Directors are distributed according to the five major world regions.

The International Criminal Court seeks to ensure justice for victims not only through criminal trials but also by helping them through the Trust Fund to overcome the physical and psychological suffering they have endured. The Board of Directors will be responsible for managing the fund and fundraising.

The TVF has two mandates: providing assistance to victims of crimes within the jurisdiction of the ICC (genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes) and to the victim’s families; and implementing Court-ordered reparations. TFV activities are funded through voluntary contributions by states and donations by private donors, and through fines and forfeitures.

The Trust Fund for Victims had eminent personalities like Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah of Jordan; His Excellency Mr. Oscar Arias Sanchez, former President of Costa Rica and Nobel Peace Laureate; and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, of South Africa and Nobel Peace Laureate as its members previously.

The seventeenth session of the Assembly of States Parties of the ICC in The Hague also marked the twentieth anniversary of the International Criminal Court where Bangladesh also got elected as a member of the Bureau, an Executive Boday comprsing 21 out of 123 state parties,  for the first time since its joining to the ICC in 2010.


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