The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein told the United Nations General Assembly that his report on Sri Lanka was “historic”.
He made the comments on Sri Lanka after presenting the annual report of his Office for August 2014 to July 2015 to the Third Committee at the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
“In recent weeks my office issued a historic report on reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka, following a comprehensive investigation into alleged serious violations human rights during the armed conflict that was mandated by the Human Rights Council,” he said.
He said that during the period covered in his annual report his office continued to support investigations by commissions of inquiry and fact-finding missions in the Central African Republic, Sri Lanka and the Occupied Palestinian Territory.
The High Commissioner said that requests for his office to provide field-based technical cooperation have considerably expanded, particularly in follow-up to the Universal Periodic Review. At July 2015, the field presences of his office numbered 64.
“These resources are significant, and the quality and dedication of our staff are considerable, but they pale in comparison to the challenge of addressing today’s human rights crises. The Office has responded to needs, opportunities and requests from Member States, UN partners and humanity worldwide. These steadily increasing requests have outpaced our budget,” he said.
He also noted that his office will strengthen its work in New York, to better mainstream human rights in the development and peace and security agendas and will recast roles and divisions at Headquarters, to eliminate duplication, consolidate thematic expertise and more effectively support the human rights mechanisms. (Colombo Gazette)