UN rights chief urges Sri Lankato use the deferral opportunity to lay the foundations for lasting peace

UNHRC ResolutionDelivering the opening Statement, of the High Commissioner’s Annual Report at the 28th session UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein on o5 March 2015 said, his staff are to engage on the ground with all stakeholders to advance transitional justice issues.

Speaking at the UN Human Rights Council, after presenting his annual report, the High Commissioner called on Sri Lanka to use the deferral opportunity to lay the foundations in justice for lasting peace and reconciliation.

“At this session, Member States were also due to consider my report on the implementation of Human Rights Council resolution 25/1 on accountability and reconciliation in Sri Lanka, including the findings of the comprehensive investigation mandated by the Council. After serious reflection, and acting upon the suggestion of the investigation’s group of experts, I recommended that the presentation of this report be deferred until the 30th session of the Human Rights Council in September. This was based on my assessment of the changing context in Sri Lanka, the broad signals of cooperation I have received from the Government, and the possibility that new information will become available for the report”.  He said

“The Government has agreed to invite the Special Rapporteur on Truth, justice, reparations and guarantees of non-recurrence, and the Working Group on enforced and involuntary disappearances, as well as myself, to visit Sri Lanka before the September session. During this period, OHCHR staff also plan to engage on the ground with all stakeholders to advance transitional justice issues. This is a singular opportunity for the Government to lay the foundations in justice for lasting peace and reconciliation. I urge the authorities to consult deeply with the people, particularly victims, in order to design mechanisms that will work and not repeat the failures of the past.” He further said.(OHCHR)

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