Farhan Haq, Associate Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General, at the noon briefing on 11 october 2013 said that the UN had at the time made every effort to push for greater safety for the civilian population.
“I would just refer you to the statements we put out at the time which did in fact call for corridors for peace; places where essentially combat could be halted in order to allow for people to flee from the fighting. Each situation is different and the statements are different, but yes, we did try to call for places where people could be safe,” he said at the daily UN press briefing.
“There was a proposal, as you know, there were proposals both for safe zones as well as for days when the fighting would be halted. As you know, many of those concepts did not work out or be implemented the way that we had wanted them to be, but I’d just refer you to the statements which were part of our effort to push for greater safety for the civilian population. And of course, you have seen what our follow-up reports have said also,” he added
- Asked about follow-up to the Internal Review Panel on Sri Lanka, the Spokesperson said that, based on the Panel, the Deputy Secretary-General has now put together concrete actions that will put human rights responsibilities at the centre of UN thinking; provide for better collection of human rights information; have a straightforward crisis management system to ensure clear responsibilities; enable the better gathering of political support from Member States; and allow for improved action on the ground.
- The Secretary-General has asked the Deputy Secretary-General to lead implementation of these actions, and he will be tracking the work in all these areas closely.
- Asked about information on the follow-up process, Haq said that the UN Secretariat would continue to brief Member States, the NGO community and the media on its implementation of the recommendations stemming from the Internal Review Panel on UN Action in Sri Lanka. He noted that the Panel report and the recommendations were made public.
- He added that a summary of the Action Plan and an update were being prepared.