|Sri Lanka: UNHRC Elections and UPR: Ambassador Dr. Jayatilleka clarifies|
|Tuesday, 27 May 2008|
There seems to be an element of confusion in the Sri Lankan media and in public opinion concerning recent events at the United Nations, specifically, concerning the elections to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva. These elections did not take place in Geneva. So, there was no election in Geneva that was lost by us. The elections to the Human Rights Council take place at the United Nations General Assembly in New York City in the United States and certainly, we suffered a setback there.
What did happen in Geneva was something else altogether: the Universal Periodic Review of the Human Rights Council, in which all countries are reviewed collectively by their peers. Now, the UPR experiment took place on May 13th concerning Sri Lanka and culminated on the 19th of May. And as the record shows, only a handful of Western states were sharply critical of Sri Lanka. Of the overwhelming majority of those states that took the floor - there were 56 in number though 70 had inscribed to speak - the overwhelming majority spoke very much in favour of Sri Lanka. They were very supportive; there was a very clear majority of support and sympathy for Sri Lanka. There was also an intermediate group of well-intentioned and constructive critics.
So, I think we should clarify this confusion about the election to the Human Rights Council, which took place in New York, and the Universal Periodic Review, which took place in Geneva. Now, having suffered the set back of the loss of the membership, it is possible that anti-Sri Lankan forces will seek to move a resolution or special session in Geneva at the Human Rights Council. But, with or without the membership status, we are quite determined and convinced that we can defeat any such anti Sri Lankan moves here in the Human Right Council in Geneva.
|Last Updated ( Sunday, 04 January 2009 )|
|< Prev||Next >|