UNHRC Resolution Passed Without A Vote: UK Encourages Sri Lanka to Accelerate for Full Implementation With a Time-bound Plan - Sri Lanka Says the  Extension of 2 Years A Mark of Recognition

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Geneva, 21 March 2019 - "The resolution encourages Sri Lanka to accelerate its efforts to achieve full implementation of its 2015 undertakings and to set out a time-bound implementation plan to help it to make progress. It requests OHCHR to continue to strengthen its engagement with Sri Lanka and requests annual reporting by the Office of the High Commissioner for a further two years," UK said today introducing its draft resolution L.1 on Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council. United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (on behalf of the Core Group comprising Canada, Germany, Montenegro, North Macedonia and the United Kingdom), Mr. Julian Braithwaite Introduced the draft resolution at the Council meeting. Mr. Tilak Marapana, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka (Concerned Country) and Ms. Ana Teresa Lecaros Terry of Peru spoke on the resolution. The resolution was adopted without a vote.

 

Mr. Julian Braithwaite:

UN Human Rights Council 40th Session

The UK delivered its draft resolution L.1, which seeks to continue the process of advancing peace, justice & reconciliation in Sri Lanka

Thank you Mr President

On behalf of the core group comprising Canada, Germany, Montenegro, North Macedonia and the United Kingdom, I have the honour to introduce draft resolution L1 entitled “Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka”.

Mr President, in a few months’ time it will be the tenth anniversary of the end of the protracted armed conflict in Sri Lanka, a conflict in which many thousands of people died. This was a period in which serious human rights violations and abuses are reported to have been committed by both parties and in which people from all of Sri Lanka’s communities had to endure terrible suffering. For many of the victims, especially the families of the missing and the disappeared, their suffering continues to endure.

In the 5 years following the end of the armed conflict Sri Lanka chose not to take many measures that would have helped to advance reconciliation, accountability and human rights.

It remains to Sri Lanka’s great credit that in 2015 it committed, in front of the international community, to take a set of steps towards these ends that are in its national interest and in the interest of every community in the country.

Draft resolution L1. seeks to continue the process which Sri Lanka began at the Human Rights Council in September 2015 when it worked in partnership to set out a range of measures that it would take to advance peace, justice and reconciliation.

The resolution acknowledges some very real achievements against these commitments over the last two years. It also recognises that in a number of important areas, implementation remains work in progress. The resolution encourages Sri Lanka to accelerate its efforts to achieve full implementation of its 2015 undertakings and to set out a time-bound implementation plan to help it to make progress. It requests OHCHR to continue to strengthen its engagement with Sri Lanka and requests annual reporting by the Office of the High Commissioner for a further two years.

The main sponsors of this resolution warmly welcome Sri Lanka’s co-sponsorship of the draft resolution and its public affirmation that it remains determined to deliver on the commitments it has already made to this body. As partners and friends of Sri Lanka, we stand ready to support Sri Lanka as it does so.

We hope that this draft can be adopted with the support of all members of this Council.

Thank you Mr President.

 

STATEMENT BY HON. TILAK MARAPANA, MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS ON THE ADOPTION OF THE RESOLUTION A/HRC/40/L.1 ‘PROMOTING RECONCILIATION, ACCOUNTABILITY AND HUMAN RIGHTS IN SRI LANKA’

Thu, 21 Mar 2019

Statement by Hon. Tilak Marapana, PC, MP,

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka

(Head of the Sri Lanka Delegation)

40th Session of the Human Rights Council

21st March 2019

Item 2- Adoption of the resolution A/HRC/40/L.1 ‘Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka’

 Mr. President,

The Government of Sri Lanka considers Resolution 40/L.1 mandating an extension of two years until March 2021, to make further progress on human rights, reconciliation and accountability, as a mark of recognition of Sri Lanka’s political commitment and the progressive steps already taken by the Government since 2015.

Sri Lanka’s open, and constructive approach towards the work of this Council is well acknowledged. We have engaged with seven core Treaty Bodies, the UPR, and have also facilitated 8 visits by special procedures mandate holders and independent experts, resulting in a total of over 1000 recommendations, for expeditious implementation by Sri Lanka.

Mr. President,

As I put on record before this Council yesterday, we have to set our priorities right and we are committed to find innovative and pragmatic solutions to protect the country’s national interest and the well-being of all Sri Lankans alike, guided by the provisions of the supreme law of the land – The Constitution. Sri Lanka’s co-sponsorship of this year’s Resolution assures to all concerned persons, the Sri Lankan society at large, and to all our interlocutors outside the country, that we will continue to move forward within these parameters, to ensure eventual closure.

Mr. President,

We welcome the assistance and cooperation we have received from partners as required, and invite the OHCHR to engage closely with the relevant local institutions and independent bodies including the National Human Rights Commission, in verifying facts on ground, which will help OHCHR to provide more objective and realistic assessment on the progress made in Sri Lanka and on its genuine challenges, to this Council next year.

In conclusion Mr. President,

Sri Lanka takes this opportunity to appreciate the efforts of the members of the Core-Group, and thank all Members of this Council for supporting a consensus outcome today.

I thank you.

Video UN WebTV: 

http://webtv.un.org/search/ahrc40l.1-vote-item2-52nd-meeting-40th-regula...

 

The Resolution that was adopted without a vote:

A/HRC/40/L.1
Item 2
Received from (main sponsors): Canada, Germany, Montenegro, North Macedonia and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Date and time: 11/03/2019, 16:24
Initials: MGB

Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka 

The Human Rights Council, 

Reaffirming the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, 

Guided by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenants on Human Rights and other relevant instruments, 

Reaffirming Human Rights Council resolutions 30/1 of 1 October 2015 and 34/1 of 23 March 2017 on promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka, 

Recalling Human Rights Council resolutions 19/2 of 22 March 2012, 22/1 of 21 March 2013 and 25/1 of 27 March 2014, 

Reaffirming that it is the responsibility of each State to ensure the full enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms of its entire population,
 
Reaffirming also its commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka, 

Recognising the strong role played by Sri Lanka’s democratic institutions in the peaceful resolution of the political situation that arose in Sri Lanka from October to December 2018,

Welcoming the establishment of the Office on Missing Persons in September 2017 and the appointment of its Commissioners in February 2018 and the assumption of its work to fully implement its mandate, 

Welcoming also the visits made by the Special Rapporteur on human rights and counter terrorism from 10 to 14 July 2017, the Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence from 10 to 23 October 2017, the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention from 4 to 15 December 2017 and the Independent Expert on the effects of foreign debt on the full enjoyment of human rights from 3 to 11 September 2018,

Noting with appreciation the return of some private land previously occupied by the military to civilian ownership while recalling repeated public commitments by the Government of Sri Lanka  to release all private land occupied by the military, to enable local populations to resume livelihoods,   

Noting other steps taken by the Government of Sri Lanka to implement Human Rights Council resolution 30/1, including progress towards establishing an Office on Reparations and the submission to cabinet of a concept paper on a Bill to establish a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the proposed repeal of the Prevention of Terrorism Act 1978 and the preparation of a draft Counter Terrorism Act,  while reiterating in this context the need for further significant progress and encouraging in this regard the adoption of a time-bound implementation strategy,

1. Takes note with appreciation of the comprehensive report presented by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to the Human Rights Council at its fortieth session, as requested by the Council in its resolution 34/1, and requests the Government of Sri Lanka to implement fully the measures identified by the Council in its resolution 30/1 that are outstanding; 

2. Welcomes the positive engagement of the Government of Sri Lanka with the High Commissioner and the Office of the High Commissioner since October 2015, and with relevant special procedure mandate holders, and encourages the continuation of that engagement in the promotion and protection of human rights and truth, justice, reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka; 

3. Requests the Office of the High Commissioner and relevant special procedure mandate holders, in consultation with and with the concurrence of the Government of Sri Lanka, to continue to strengthen their advice and technical assistance on the promotion and protection of human rights and truth, justice, reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka; 

4. Requests the Office of the High Commissioner to continue to assess progress on the implementation of its recommendations and other relevant processes related to reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka, and to present a written update to the Human Rights Council at its forty-third session, and a comprehensive report, followed by a discussion on the implementation of Council resolution 30/1, at its forty-sixth session.