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OHCHR to maintain focus on Lanka

2014 Apr 28

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, has included Sri Lanka in a four year plan submitted to member states of the UN in Geneva, which virtually keeps the spotlight on the country till 2017.

In the four year plan Pillay notes that between 2014 and 2017 the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) will work towards sustain engagement by the international community, specifically the Human Rights Council, on issues of impunity, accountability and reconciliation for past and present human rights violations in Sri Lanka.

The goal for the ‘OHCHR Management Plan 2014-2017’ is to make the most of the resources in implementing the human rights mandate of the United Nations.

In submitting the plan, Pillay said that it brings together various elements of OHCHR’s mandate around a set of thematic priorities in order to increase synergies between them and to avoid overlaps.

On Sri Lanka, Pillay says her office will be involved in monitoring and reporting, capacity-building and providing advisory services, advocacy and awareness-raising.

She has also proposed that UN Country team members use the recommendations of the Guidance Note of the Secretary-General on Racial Discrimination and Protection of Minorities in the implementation of the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) Pillars as well as other UN joint programmes.Pillay report

“By 2017, OHCHR expects to have contributed to the achievement of the results outlined on the table, in support of national efforts in the different thematic priority areas (colour scheme). OHCHR will pursue these behavioural, institutional and legislative changes in cooperation with relevant partners, using the different strategic tools at its disposal – monitoring and reporting, capacity-building and advisory services, advocacy and awareness-raising (see chapter one) – on the basis of an assessment of the specific context. It is expected that if achieved, these results will contribute to improving the dutybearers’ compliance with their international human rights obligations and to the rights-holders’ ability to claim their rights and thereby to the enjoyment of all rights for all in Sri Lanka,” the section on Sri Lanka in the document states.

Pillay also notes that a number of significant human rights developments related to Sri Lanka took place during the period 2011-2013 and this included the Panel of Experts established to advise the UN Secretary-General on accountability issues with respect to the final stages of the conflict in Sri Lanka issuing their report in April 2011, while in December 2011, the government-established Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) published a report with far-reaching recommendations towards reconciliation and strengthening of the rule of law.

“UNCT (The UN Country Team) provided a joint submission to the UPR in 2012 and a new United Nations Development Framework (UNDAF) was launched in 2012 for the period of 2013-2018. The UN maintains a joint programme of support to the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka, which has gradually begun to recover its vitality,” she added.

Pillay told the UN members in Geneva that the Plan features the results that the Office expects over the next four years within each thematic priorities, the key actions set forth to achieve them, and the indicators and targets for the Office to measure progress.

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