Extract of statement by Louise Arbour the High Commissioner for Human Rights:
Since we met last December I have also been concerned by further acts of violence in Sri Lanka. Every effort is required to ensure the protection of civilians as military actions intensify in the north of the country. While the ceasefire agreement has now formally ended all parties are bound to respect human rights and international humanitarian law.
Extract from statement by Sweden
The move towards country engagement has given the UN and increased human rights presence on the ground and a focus on implementation that was lacking before. Today the early results of that policy are apparent-you have reported to us on Office activities in such geographically wide-spread and substantially diverse situations as Colombia and Nepal. Sweden firmly supports your efforts to establish a presence by the Office in the field, where this is necessary. In this context, we hope that your dialogue with the Government of Sri Lanka on the establishment of an office there will be successful.
Extract from statement by Slovenia on behalf of the European Union
These and other successful missions on the ground demonstrate the necessity and usefulness of human rights missions on the ground. In that respect, the EU wishes to reaffirm our belief that this work needs to strengthen and expand further, to provide its appropriate presence in all cases, where this would still be needed, such as in Sri Lanka and Somalia.
Extract from the statement by the Republic of Korea
The Republic of Korea has repeatedly expressed its strong support for a broader field presence as a crucial element for the strengthening of your Office. We believe it will enhance its capacity in terms of strengthening human rights protection on the ground through increased monitoring as well as technical assistance and capacity building. We also fully share your view that the human rights situations around the world call for additional field presences with full mandates, and therefore encourage you to explore the various possibilities.
Extract from the statement by France .
We would also like to reiterate our concern regarding the situation in Sri Lanka and once again support the proposal of the Office to open a field office there. While I understand the Government’s wish to ensure security within its territory, this objective may not be sought through all means indiscriminately and must be done in keeping with international standards
on human rights and in the interests of the population to be protected.
Extract from the statement by Canada
At the fourth regular session of the Council, Canada commended the Government of Sri Lanka for the establishment of both the Presidential Commission of Inquiry into human rights violations and the International Independent Group of Eminent Persons. Unfortunately, the Group is about to end its work after having identified a number of serious problems with the
Inquiry, which remain unaddressed. This outcome along with the increase in hostilities in Sri Lanka has made independent human rights reporting all the more critical. We urge the Government of Sri Lanka to accept the assistance of your Office, and to allow it a full mandate to report on the human rights situation throughout the country. Following your visit to Sri Lanka, what other steps should the Government of Sri Lanka take to promote and protection the human rights of all its citizens?
Extract from the statement of Pakistan on behalf of the OIC
There are some gaps in the High Commissioner’s statement. We believe that the efforts made by the Governments of Sudan and Sri Lanka to ameliorate human rights situation should have been mentioned.
Extract from the statement by India
The High Commissioner has referred to the situations in countries in our neighbourhood. India is closely monitoring developments in Sri Lanka and is concerned about the recent upsurge in the violence and conflict in that country. We remain convinced that there is no military solution to the conflict. The way forward lies in a peacefully negotiated political settlement within the framework of a united Sri Lanka acceptable to all communities. It is only through such a settlement that a lasting peace can be achieved in the country. In this context India has welcomed, as a first step, the declared intention of the Sri Lankan Government to fully
implement the 13th Amendment.
Extract from the statement by the Netherlands
For us country engagement means where needed enhanced field presences. In our view this could be the case in for instance Eritrea and Sri Lanka.
Extract from the statement of Japan
Given the concern expressed by Madame High Commissioner about the human rights situation in Sri Lanka we believe that it is essential for the Government of Sri Lanka to effectively address the situation itself. In this regard the Government of Japan hopes to see the Commission of inquiries produce tangible results soon.
(Statements during the interactive dialogue with the UN High Commissioner for
Human Rights, 7 March 2008)
4 comments March 13th, 2008