Canada and the Netherlands announced Wednesday their intentions to formally join Gambia's genocide case against Myanmar at the International Court of Justice.
Canadian Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne and his Dutch counterpart Stef Blok said in a joint statement the two nations were acting on obligations under the Genocide Convention "to prevent the crime of genocide and hold those responsible to account."
They urged other states to also support Gambia's legal fight, which was launched on behalf of the 57-nation Organisation of Islamic Conference.
"In bringing this application to the ICJ, Gambia took a laudable step towards ending impunity for those committing atrocities in Myanmar," Champagne and Blok said.
Calling the case "of concern to all of humanity," Champagne and Blok said Canada and the Netherlands "will assist with the complex legal issues that are expected to arise and will pay special attention to crimes related to sexual and gender-based violence, including rape."
The small African, mainly Muslim state of Gambia has taken majority-Muslim Myanmar to the UN's top court in The Hague accusing it of breaching the 1948 UN genocide convention.
Around 740,000 Rohingya fled across the border into sprawling refugee camps in Bangladesh after Myanmar launched a huge military crackdown in Rakhine state in August 2017.
Myanmar's civilian leader, Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, at the start of ICJ hearings in December 2019 rejected the genocide claims, warning the UN judges that allowing Gambia's case to go ahead risked reigniting the crisis and could "undermine reconciliation."
That three-day hearing sought emergency measures to prevent further violence against the Rohingya, pending the fuller case that could take years.