UN HR chief expresses concern | Daily News

UN HR chief expresses concern

Newly appointed UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet raised concerns over recurrent incidents of “racist and inter-communal violence and plans to resume the death penalty in Sri Lanka.”

Bachelet, who assumed duties as the UN Human Rights Chief on September 1, referred to Sri Lanka in her Opening Statement at the 39th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

“Recurrent incidents of racist and inter-communal violence are disturbing, as are announced plans to resume use of the death penalty,” she noted. With reference to the issue of missing persons, she was optimistic that the Office on Missing Persons (OMP) would provide answers to the issues of the families of the disappeared.

“In Sri Lanka, although the authorities have moved too slowly towards meaningful implementation of the transitional justice agenda, the OMP has now begun consultations and institutional capacity-building to fulfill its mandate. We look to that Office to work quickly, to begin to provide answers to the families of the disappeared. Legislation establishing an Office for Reparations is also underway. More progress in advancing accountability and truth-seeking could have great weight in the long-term stability and prosperity of the nation,” she said.

In the wake of the US decision to pull out of the UNHRC, Bachelet said, “I am convinced that this Council must strive for consensus. I believe there should be more engagement by all Member States – not sterile disputes, not withdrawals, but collective, coordinated and cooperative work to sustain core principles and common goals.” 

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