On 2 September 2020, Canada and the Netherlands issued a joint statement indicating their intention to intervene in the matter of the Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (The Gambia v. Myanmar), a case brought by The Gambia against Myanmar at the International Court of Justice, alleging violations of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. On 25 February 2020, the Republic of Maldives also announced that it would seek to intervene in the same ongoing ICJ proceedings.

As States Parties to the Genocide Convention, Canada and the Netherlands have stated that they consider it their obligation to support The Gambia’s efforts. As part of their intervention, both States seek to assist with the complex legal issues of the case, arguing they will pay special attention to crimes related to sexual and gender-based violence, including rape.

Article 62 of the ICJ Statute provides that a State may submit a request to intervene should the State consider that “it has an interest of a legal nature which may be affected by the decision in the case”. The ICJ has the discretion to allow to such request. Moreover, Article 63 of the ICJ Statute provides that State Parties to a multilateral treaty have a mandatory “right to intervene” whenever the “construction of a convention” is in question.

Canada and the Netherlands have called for all States Parties to the Genocide Convention to support the Gambia in its efforts to address these violations.