Lanka accuses UN mandate holders

The Sri Lankan government today said that while it recognizes the Special Procedures as an important mechanism of the UN Human Rights Council, there have been certain instances where some special procedures mandate holders have exceeded their respective mandates and as such, acted in violation of the Code of Conduct.

“For example, we have noted instances where joint urgent appeals have been transmitted by same mandate holders based on erroneous information and in connection with situations which do not warrant urgent appeals, in contravention of the Code of Conduct as well as the Manual of Operations of Special Procedures which stipulate that mandate holders may resort to urgent appeals in special cases only, where alleged violations are time sensitive in terms of involving loss of life, life threatening situations, or ongoing damage of a very grave nature, and therefore stipulates that mandate holders establish facts first based on objective, reliable information emanating from duly cross checked, credible sources,” the government told the Council at its ongoing 23rd session in Geneva.

The government said it has also noted instances where certain ‘mandate holders have requested country visits as per the mandate/s granted by specific Council resolutions, even after the lapse of such mandates as per the time frame granted by such resolution/s, in violation of due process.

“Responses provided by states in these specific instances highlighting such irregularities by mandate holders are uploaded as official documents of the Council. In this regard, we highlight the need for special procedures to be independent and objective in acting upon their respective mandates in adherence to the Code of Conduct, through a professional, impartial assessment of facts. It is also imperative that the OHCHR have an equitable distribution4 of financial resources among all special procedures mandate holders through a transparent process in order to safeguard their independence,” the Sri Lankan government delegation at the session said. (Colombo Gazette)

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