Twenty-sixth session of UN Human Rights Council to commence

Twenty-sixth session of UN Human Rights Council to commence

Written by Staff Writer

09 Jun, 2014 | 10:13 pm

The twenty sixth session of the UN Human Rights Council is due to commence in Geneva, Switzerland on Tuesday.

The sessions which will commence at 1:30 on Tuesday afternoon , Sri Lankan time, will continue until June 27.

This will incidentally be the final session of the Human Rights Council where Navanethem Pillay will preside as the High Commissioner for Human Rights, prior to the expiration of her term.

The list of the members of the panel that will conduct the international inquiry into alleged human rights violations, is due to be announced at the UN Human Rights Council session in Geneva on Tuesday.

Commissioner at the Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission, Dr. Prathiba Mahanamahewa says that it is expected that this panel will commence their inquiry next month.

As per the resolution on Sri Lanka adopted in the March session of the council, a five-member team is to be appointed to conduct an inquiry into alleged human rights violations in Sri Lanka. However, it is pointed out that no one has been appointed to supervise this team.

As the Government of Sri Lanka has rejected this panel, they are expected to hear testimony in several other countries. The panel will present their final report within ten months.

An advance copy of the UN human rights high commissioner’s opening statement for the 26th session of the Human Rights Council reveals that the OHCHR has assembled a team to investigate allegations of human rights abuses during the final stages of the war in Sri Lanka.

Navi Pillay, during her opening statement is also expected to call on the Sri Lankan government to take this as an opportunity to cooperate to create a credible, truth-seeking process.

Attorney General Palitha Fernando notes that there will be no representative from the Attorney General’s Office in attendance at the Human Rights Council session which commences tomorrow.

Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, Ravinatha Aryasinha is due to make a statement to the council on Tuesday.

In April, India noted that it would not support an international inquiry into alleged human rights violations in Sri Lanka, by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has nominated Jordan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations as the new High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Following consultations with the Chairmen of the regional groups of member states, Ban- ki moon informed the General Assembly of his intention to appoint Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein as the chief of the human rights body.

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