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* Promotion and protection of human rights must conform to UN charter, Sri Lanka tells UN
Tue, Feb 26, 2013, 02:09 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Feb 25, Colombo: Sri Lanka reminded the United nations Human Rights Council Monday that the promotion and protection of human rights must conform to the UN Charter as protected in the Vienna Declaration.

In a statement presented to the High Level Panel on Vienna Declaration & Programme of Action (VDPA) at the 22nd Session of UN Human Rights Council in Geneva Sri Lanka recalled the promotion and protection of human rights as enshrined in the VDPA should be carried out in conformity with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and norms governing international relations.

Sri Lanka's Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN at Geneva Manisha Gunasekera said "Sri Lanka therefore believes that the VDPA with its emphasis on cooperation and dialogue, continues to maintain its relevance, now more than ever, and we look forward to working with the Council to further enhance its effective implementation in the forthcoming years."

Sri Lanka did not deliver the statement orally at the Council due to lack of time.

The Full Statement

Statement by Sri Lanka
Human Rights Council 22nd Session
High Level Panel on Vienna Declaration & Programme of Action

Mr. President,

Sri Lanka welcomes the High Level Panel to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the adoption of the Vienna Declaration & Programme of Action (VDPA), and thanks the panelists for their insightful observations. We are pleased to have co-sponsored the resolution 21/20 on the convening of this important panel discussion with a particular focus on its implementation, achievements, best practices and challenges.

Sri Lanka is particularly mindful of the VDPAs affirmation of the universality, indivisibility, interdependence and interrelatedness of human rights which denotes the equal importance of civil and political rights and economic, social and cultural rights.

A landmark of the VDPA is its reaffirmation of the right to development, as a universal and inalienable right, and an integral part of fundamental human rights.

The strengthening of the promotion and protection of the rights of women and children, minorities and indigenous peoples through the VDPA is noteworthy.

Sri Lanka is party to 7 core international human rights instruments and several protocols, and is signatory to the Convention on Disabilities. The country has given internal effect to the international treaties via enabling domestic legislation.

Concerted policies and initiatives adopted by successive governments since independence have resulted in significant progress in health, education, poverty reduction and employment generation. It is noteworthy that Sri Lanka has near universal school enrollment of children without gender discrimination, and one of the highest literacy rates in South Asia.

In conclusion Mr. President,
Sri Lanka recalls that the promotion and protection of human rights as enshrined in the VDPA should be carried out in a spirit of cooperation, mutual respect and dialogue, and in conformity with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and norms governing international relations.

Sri Lanka therefore believes that the VDPA with its emphasis on cooperation and dialogue, continues to maintain its relevance, now more than ever, and we look forward to working with the Council to further enhance its effective implementation in the forthcoming years.

I thank you



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