Resolution on Sri Lanka at UNHRC passed without a vote

The resolution on Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) was passed without a vote in Geneva today.The resolution ‘A/HRC/34/L.1’ was passed with 36 additional co-sponsors. The draft text states: Titled “Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka” the resolution gives Sri Lanka two years to show more progress on implementing the 2015 resolution on Sri Lanka. The resolution was submitted by the United States with Montenegro, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland the main sponsors and Sri Lanka a co-sponsor. Deputy Foreign Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva, speaking on behalf of Sri Lanka said that his Government deeply appreciated the understanding shown by all, and support for Sri Lanka’s processes for promoting reconciliation, justice, and human rights, towards enduring peace and prosperity for all Sri Lankans.“On January 8th 2015, we made a promise to our people that we will engage and work with all stakeholders including our friends and partners, to uphold human rights, establish rule of law, end impunity, strengthen democracy and good governance, and create the stability and peace required in our country for the prosperity of all our people. We thank the international community for their continued support in this journey. We thank them for placing their faith in our government, and our people, and for walking with us at our side, as we strive to establish ‘Sri Lankan Government-led processes’ with international assistance, engagement and support for the benefit of all our citizens, without discrimination,” he said.The Deputy Foreign Minister said that Sri Lanka looks to the continued support of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and his Office. Welcomes the positive engagement between the Government of Sri Lanka and the High Commissioner and the Office of the High Commissioner since October 2015, as well as the relevant special procedure mandate holders, and encourages the continuation of that engagement in the promotion and protection of human rightsand truth, justice, reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka; (updated OP2 from HRC/30/1) Reaffirming the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, (PP1 HRC/30/1) Guided by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenants on Human Rights and other relevant instruments, (PP2 HRC/30/1) Reaffirming Human Rights Council resolution 30/1 of 1 October 2015 on promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka, (NEW)  Requeststhe Office of the High Commissioner and relevant special procedure mandate holders, in consultation with and with the concurrence of the Government of Sri Lanka, to strengthen their advice and technical assistance on the promotion and protection of human rights and truth, justice, reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka; (updated OP19 from HRC/30/1) Recalling Human Rights Council resolutions 19/2 of 22 March 2012, 22/1 of 21 March 2013, 25/1 of 27 March 2014, (PP3 HRC/30/1) Reaffirming that it is the responsibility of each State to ensure the full enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms of its entire population, (PP5 HRC/30/1)Reaffirming its commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka, (PP4 HRC 30/1) Welcoming the visits to Sri Lanka from 6 to9 February 2016 by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and from 31 August to2 September2016 by the United Nations Secretary-General,(NEW) Welcoming also the visit from 9 to 18 November 2015 by the Working Group on enforced or involuntary disappearances, the visit from 26 January to 2 February 2016 by the Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence, the joint visit from 29 April to 9 May 2016 by the Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers and the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and the visit from 10 to 20 October 2016 by the Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues, (NEW) Welcoming the steps taken by the Government of Sri Lanka to implement Human Rights Council resolution 30/1 of 1 October 2015,and recognizing in this context, the need for further significant progress,Takes Note with Appreciation the comprehensive report presented by the United Nations High Commissioner to the Human Rights Council at its thirty-fourth session, as requested by the Human Rights Council in its resolution 30/1, and requests the Government of Sri Lanka to fully implement themeasures identified in Human Rights Council resolution 30/1 that are outstanding; (updated OP1 from HRC/30/1) The United States thanked Sri Lanka, the fellow core group members, the United Kingdom, Macedonia, and Montenegro, and all other member states and stakeholders for their cooperative engagement on the resolution.“This resolution reflects our continued strong commitment to peace, justice, and reconciliation for all the people of Sri Lanka. It recognizes both the important steps that Sri Lanka has taken toward protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms, and also the need for full implementation of remaining steps to ensure the consolidation of these protections,” the US delegation in Geneva said. Requests the Office of the High Commissioner to continue to assess progress on the implementation of its recommendations and other relevant processes related to reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka, and to present a written update to the Human Rights Council at its thirty-seventh session, and a comprehensive report followed by discussion on the implementation of resolution 30/1 at its fortieth session.(updated OP18 from HRC/30/1)(Colombo Gazette)

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