If the international community ever needed to step up and step in and dig deep — it is now. If, that is, it wants to see a just world where women and girls are no longer raped as an instrument of war; as a means of ethnic cleansing. If, that is, justice is to be served beyond white Hollywood.UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence and Conflict Pramila Patten has categorically said that the Myanmar state forces need to be held to account over the sexual persecution of minority Rohingya women and girls; as part of the ongoing and systematic violence towards this minority group. One possible mechanism towards this end could be calling on the UN Security Council to adopt a resolution instructing the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate. This is a most welcome move.Of course, certain quarters have raised concerns over possible delays to getting the ICC involved given China’s backing of the Myanmar regime. Yet this is disingenuous. For the US, too, backs the civilian government of Aung Suu Kyi; as does India. These two democracies apparently only have beef with the Myanmar military. Which may well be why the UN special envoy chose her words carefully, only calling for the military men to stand trial. Whether or not this was a misstep is a debate that can be put on the backburner, at least temporarily. For the immediate priority must be delivering gender-based services to those who now are on the Bangladeshi side of the border. And this will not come cheap; with Patten putting the initial cost at some $10 million. She is right when she says that the world cannot expect Bangladesh to alone bear this cost. For not only would this be grossly unfair — it could well wear the patience of that country thin. Already it is in negotiations over the repatriation of more than 600,000 refugees.We live in an age where the UN has long lost credibility. Where it has shown itself to be, at best, complacent and at worst, impotent, when it comes to stopping wars of aggression. Or holding to account those who engage in remote-controlled warfare, which is simply another way of saying unilateral targeted assassination outside the realm of due process.Thus while we support the UN Special Representative on the matter of ICC ‘intervention’ — we also say that there is no time to lose. We therefore urge her to consider directly approaching the Prosecutor’s Office to begin the process of determining whether the court has jurisdiction to put the Myanmar military in the dock for (possible) crimes against humanity. And we also hope that by the time Patten submits her report to the UN chief next March that this will include recommendations that Suu Kyi also be brought to justice. It’s the very least the Rohingya deserve. *Published in Daily Times, November 14th 2017.