UN Human Rights Council 51: UK welcomes resolution on Sri Lanka
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The UK has supported efforts to promote peace and reconciliation in Sri Lanka, including at the UNHRC (United Nations Human Rights Council) for many years. This new resolution acknowledges the challenging economic situation in Sri Lanka, and the progress made in addressing this in recent months.
It continues the international community’s efforts to centre and support victims of Sri Lanka armed conflict. The UNHRC framework is integral to establish truth and achieve lasting justice and reconciliation, as well as to improve human rights in the country.
The UK is the penholder on Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council, meaning it leads on preparing resolutions and other products, and has held this position since 2017. The UK is a member of the Core Group on Sri Lanka, along with United States, Canada, Germany, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Malawi.
Responding to the UN resolution, Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office Minister of State for the Middle East, South Asia and the United Nations Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon on 6 October said, “We welcome the result of today’s vote on Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHCR). This resolution will support progress on human rights, justice, and accountability. It has renewed the mandate of the Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to report on Sri Lanka and to protect and preserve evidence of past human rights abuses to use in future accountability processes. This is integral to establish truth and achieve lasting justice and reconciliation, as well as to improve human rights in the country.
“Our focus should now turn to our collective and renewed ability to work with the new Government of Sri Lanka to take forward their commitments to the Council. We call on UNHRC members to support this effort, and to work together to address the economic challenges faced by the people of Sri Lanka.”
The FCDO has a range of UK-funded programmes which support a number of human rights priorities, including UK’s £11.3 million Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) programme (2022 to 2025) for Sri Lanka which focusses on addressing the legacy of conflict in the country.
The UK is providing £3 million of lifesaving humanitarian support for Sri Lanka. The funding will be delivered through Red Cross and UN partners. It will provide access to food, seeds, and tools to help grow crops as well as mental health care, including for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence.