Another UNHRC resolution against SL in September?
Foreign Ministry Secretary Admiral and Prof. Jayanath Colombage said yesterday (15) that Sri Lanka’s next big challenge in the international arena is the 51st session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) as there is a possibility that the Core Group of Countries on Sri Lanka will bring forth another resolution against Sri Lanka.
“Resolution 46/1, which was passed in March 2021, is only until the 51st session which is due to be held in September 2022. The question then remains as to what will be next. Will the Core Group on Sri Lanka bring another proposal against us or will time be given to us?” questioned Prof. Colombage, at the President’s Media Division media briefing held yesterday.
He said that UN High Commissioner for HR (UNHCHR) Michelle Bachelet will also give a “full report” on the country and the progress that the UNHRC has made with regard to Resolution 46/1 during the 51st session.
In March 2021, the UNHRC recognised that it is vital to preserve and analyse evidence of human rights violations in Sri Lanka in order to promote accountability. This was done through Resolution 46/1 which garnered 22 votes in favour of it and 11 votes against it. The Core Group on Sri Lanka at the UNHRC, which consists of Canada, Germany, North Macedonia, Malawi, Montenegro and the UK, tabled the said Resolution.
Speaking on behalf of the Core Group at the 49th regular session of the UNHRC, which concluded at the beginning of this month, UK’s Global Ambassador for Human Rights Rita French noted that Resolution 46/1 is “limited”. “In particular, slow progress by the Office on Missing Persons in fully investigating cases since the release of the preliminary list of missing persons is troubling,” she added.
Prof. Colombage said yesterday that Sri Lanka has already started preparing for the 51st session and noted the importance of working with experts, government officials, and the civil society.
In her written update this month, Bachelet has called upon the UNHRC and its member states to co-operate with the Office of the UNHCHR in its discharge of accountability-related work under Resolution 46/1 and to provide it with the adequate human and financial resources in order to enable it to effectively deliver the full mandate given under the Resolution.
Bachelet is due to give a comprehensive report with options about furthering accountability in September 2022.