Sri Lanka accords high priority for poverty alleviation | Daily News

Sri Lanka accords high priority for poverty alleviation

Sri Lanka has steadfastly pursued economic, social and cultural advancement, with the same emphasis and thrust as for protection of civil and political rights, Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, Ambassador A.L.A. Azeez told the 40th Session of the Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

Participating as the “Country Concerned” at the Clustered Interactive Dialogue (ID) with the Independent Expert on the effects of foreign debt and other related international financial obligations of States on the full enjoyment of all human rights, particularly economic, social and cultural rights and Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Ambassador Azeez emphasised that poverty alleviation remained a high priority for the Government of Sri Lanka. “A holistic approach is being followed in addressing poverty and advancing national development” he further added.

He referred to Sri Lanka’s engagement with UN treaties, adding that Sri Lanka abides by the 8 Special Procedures, including two Working Groups, which have undertaken visits to Sri Lanka.

He added that the visits by three Special Procedure Mandate Holders are scheduled for 2019 and the UN Sub-Committee on Prevention of Torture is also due to visit Sri Lanka this year.

“Several of the recommendations made by the Treaty Bodies and Special Procedure Mandate Holders are being implemented, while several others are being positively considered,” he said. “The ongoing efforts at recognizing ESCR as fundamental rights, the adoption of a National Human Rights Action Plan with a separate chapter on ESCR, strengthening of anti-corruption bodies, and measures to protect the rights of women, children, IDPs, and persons with disabilities, go a long way in empowering people through an increasingly integrated rights-based approach, especially following the adoption of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution.”

He also told the council that Sri Lanka continues to accord high priority to poverty alleviation adding that a holistic approach is being followed in addressing poverty and advancing national development.

“The Vision 2025 provides a comprehensive policy framework to alleviate poverty by addressing regional disparities, with particular emphasis on sustainable development and strengthening economic and social rights.”

A gradual and continuous decline in poverty levels can be observed over the years, with poverty as a head count dropping from 6.7 percent in 2012/13 to 4.1 percent in 2016.

His statement followed the presentation of the Report (A/HRC/40/57/Add.2) on the visit of Independent Expert to Sri Lanka from September 3 to 11, 2018.Sri Lanka’s observations on the Report of the Independent Expert are also available on public domain. 


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