Mar 18, Colombo: A high-level Sri Lankan delegation led by Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana will leave for Geneva tomorrow to take part in the ongoing 37th Session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC).
Special Assignments Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama will accompany the delegation to the UNHRC as the President's Representative.
In addition to the Foreign Minister Sri Lankan team will comprise Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana, Senior Advisor to Finance and Media Minister Mano Tittawella, Deputy Solicitor General Nerin Pulle, Advisor to Prime Minister Prashanthi Mahindaratne, Additional Secretary of the Foreign Ministry A.L.A. Aziz and Director General UN Division, Mahishini Colonne.
On 21 March 2018, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) will present to the Council a written update on the progress on implementation of its recommendations and other relevant processes related to reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka.
During this session on 21 March, Sri Lanka will be represented by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Tilak Marapana and the Minister of Special Assignments Sarath Amunugama.
At the session, Sri Lanka will unveil a host of measures taken over the past year to reckon with a violent past in line with its UN Human Rights Council commitments, including the operationalization of the Office off Missing Persons, the enactment of the Enforced Disappearances Act, ongoing discussions on the draft counter-terrorism legislation to replace the Prevention of Terrorism Act and a bill to set up the Reparations Office recently approved by Cabinet.
The delegation will attempt to show progress on its human rights commitments, amid mounting calls for more political will to implement reconciliation and accountability measures set out in UNHRC Resolution 30/1 that the country co-sponsored in September 2015, the Government Information Department said.
On Monday, March 19 the UNHRC will adopt Sri Lanka's Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Report under the 3rd cycle of the UPR. Sri Lanka will be represented at this session by Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, Ravinatha Aryasinha.
Sri Lanka's review under the 3rd cycle of the UPR was held on 15 November 2017 during the 28th Session of the UPR Working Group that convened from 6-17 November 2018.
Sri Lanka has accepted 177 out of the 230 recommendations made by the 3rd UPR and noted 53. Sri Lanka has also undertaken 12 voluntary pledges which included acceding to the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
The current 37th session of the Human Rights Council, convened on 26 February will conclude on 23 March 2018 in Geneva.