UN begins monitoring Sri Lanka

National News Opinion
  • OHCHR to appoint investigators, legal advisors
  • Funds awaited for more staff and related work
  • UN seeks over $2,856 million
  • Sri Lanka may face long term repercussions
  • Future dealings with over 40 cosponsors at risk

The resolution on Sri Lanka which was adopted by the UN Human Rights Council will take immediate effect with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) beginning the process to closely monitor Sri Lanka, UN sources told Daily Mirror last night.

Monitoring Sri Lanka will be carried out immediately with existing staff while other related work will be implemented once the UN General Assembly approves funding later this year.

The resolution may not have an immediate impact on Sri Lanka but with over 40 cosponsors, sources said that in the long term there could be an impact on trade with some countries and travel restrictions imposed on some officials as a result of the resolution.

The United States, EU and a number of other countries are among the cosponsors of the resolution, some with no voting rights in the UN Human Rights Council.

The resolution has called on the Office of the High Commissioner to enhance its monitoring and reporting on the situation of human rights in Sri Lanka, including on progress in reconciliation and accountability.

OHCHR has also been told to present an oral update to the Human Rights Council at its forty-eighth session, and a written update at its forty-ninth session and a comprehensive report that includes further options for advancing accountability at its fifty-first session, both to be discussed in the context of an interactive dialogue.

Meanwhile, the United Nations said it would require more funds to fully implement the resolution on Sri Lanka.

OHCHR is looking to recruit 12 new employees to work on Sri Lanka. Among them are legal advisors with experience in international criminal justice and/or criminal investigations and prosecutions to coordinate the team and oversee an information and evidence collection strategy, analysts, two investigators/human rights officers and victim support officers.

Director of Programme Planning and Budget Division at the UN, Johannes Huisman said that draft resolution A/HRC/46/L.1/Rev.1, would require an additional one-time requirement of $2,856,300.

He said the funds required to implement the new resolution on Sri Lanka is not in the budget for the year 2021.

In a letter to Goro Onojima, the Secretary of the Human Rights Council, Huisman said that the financial requirements, in accordance with established procedures, would be brought to the attention of the General Assembly at its 76th session.

The resolution seeks OHCHR support for relevant judicial and other proceedings, including in Member States, with competent jurisdiction.

The funds will be required for the process to collect, consolidate, analyse and preserve information and evidence and to develop possible strategies for future accountability processes for gross violations of human rights or serious violations of international humanitarian law in Sri Lanka, advocate for victims and rvivors, and support relevant judicial and other proceedings, including in Member States with competent jurisdiction.

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