UN Secretary General Ban ki-moon says the UN had learned from the war in Sri Lanka and as a result an action plan has been put in place to ensure a similar situation does not occur in any other country.
Speaking at his year end press briefing at the UN Headquarters on Monday, the UN Chief said that a ‘Rights Up Front Action Plan’ which has now been introduced is based on what a UN Panel of Experts learned from the situation in Sri Lanka.
Inner City Press: Thanks for doing this briefing, and we hope to have more of them in 2014. I wanted to ask you about one of your policy moves in 2013, this post-Sri Lanka Rights Up Front Plan that both you and the Deputy Secretary-General have spoken about. What I wanted to know: is the plan now effective? Is it UN policy? I notice that the Deputy is meeting with Sri Lanka’s Defense Minister, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, this morning, and I wanted to know: is there any relation between the two?
Finally, someone said, I am sure you have seen this criticism by Medecins Sans Frontieres about the UN – what they describe as inaction in Central African Republic, of sitting in bases, maybe out of security concerns, but not going out and helping people in Bossangoa and Bangui. Do you see any relationship between that plan and the need to take humanitarian action on the ground? Thank you very much.
SG: First of all, on this Rights Up Front Action plan, it is what we learned from the recent situation in Sri Lanka. As you know, I established a Panel of Experts and the Panel of Experts requested me to see whether the United Nations had done all… addressed properly. We had a very serious internal review. As a result of this we established this very important action plan. Of course, this Rights Up Front Action Plan is not aiming at any particular country or any particular case. This will be used for all countries and all cases, all situations. That is why I have submitted this to the General Assembly, with my strong recommendation. The President of the General Assembly has circulated to the Member States, so that this will be a sort of guideline to protect human rights, and prevent any further possible human rights violations in any cases. I am very firm. We discussed this matter even this morning among our senior advisers.
On CAR, I took note of all the criticism by Medecins Sans Frontieres. We are now beefing up our action to help the Central African Republic. Because of the very dire and dangerous security situation, it was very difficult in some cases to deliver, and the Government is not functioning. There is no such functioning government. This transitional government is not property functioning. Now, with the deployment of MISCA and the French Senegalese contingent, the situation has now been controlled. With this we will continue to beef up our capacity. I have discussed this issue with Valerie Amos yesterday, and we are doing our best, as much as we can.