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Lanka seeks NAM support

2013 Sep 30

Sri Lanka has sought the support of the Non Aligned Movement (NAM) to collectively oppose human rights being used as a political tool at the UN, and that the same standards of judgment be applied to all countries.

External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris urged NAM to play a role in ensuring having issues judged on its merits by the international community as a whole, the External Affairs Ministry said.

The Minister cautioned NAM against a disproportionate attention on political issues which would undermine the more important focus on economic and social aspects.

“In keeping with the basic tenets of the UN in the equal treatment of member states, Minister Peiris proposed that the NAM collectively seeks to oppose human rights being used as a political tool, and that the same standards of judgment be applied to all countries. He underscored the imperative need for the NAM to work together and speak in one voice, to effectively benefit the peoples of the member nations,” the External Affairs Ministry said in a statement.

Separately, the Ministry said that Peiris and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov have signed a Joint Statement on “No First Deployment of Weapons in Outer Space” on the margins of the UNGA Sessions in New York.

The Joint Statement, while noting the significance of Outer Space activities for social, economic, scientific and technological development of states, as well as its role in maintaining national and global security, declares that all possible efforts will be made to prevent Outer Space from becoming an arena for military confrontation.

Discussing key bilateral issues following the Joint Statement, the two Ministers agreed on the need to focus on expanding economic relations. To this end they resolved to expedite strengthening the bilateral legal framework, through the early conclusion of the agreements under negotiation. Noting the excellent bilateral cooperation which the two countries enjoy Minister Peiris also thanked Russia for the ready assistance and support extended to Sri Lanka in the multilateral fora.

He emphasized the need to depoliticize the Human Rights Council, and make the debates issue-based rather than country specific. Minister Peiris extended an invitation to his Russian counterpart to undertake a visit to Sri Lanka at a mutually convenient date. (Colombo Gazette)

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