Har­sha leads team for UPR in Geneva

Sunday Times (Sri Lanka) - - NEWS -

Har­sha de Silva, Deputy Min­is­ter of Pol­icy Plan­ning and Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment, will lead a del­e­ga­tion that leaves to­mor­row for Geneva to take part in the Uni­ver­sal Pe­ri­odic Re­view.

The UPR, as it is called, is a re­view of hu­man rights records of mem­ber coun­tries. It is a state driven process un­der the UN Hu­man Rights Coun­cil and pro­vides an op­por­tu­nity for each state to de­clare the ac­tions it has taken to im­prove the hu­man rights sit­u­a­tion in the coun­try.

Deputy Min­is­ter de Silva is be­ing ac­com­pa­nied by For­eign Sec­re­tary Prasad Kariyawasam, the For­eign Min­istry’s UN Di­rec­tor Ma­heshini Colonne, Se­nior Di­rec­tor Gen­eral Ab­dul Azeez and Nerin Pulle from the At­tor­ney Gen­eral’s Depart­ment. Rav­inatha Ariyas­inha, Sri Lanka’s Per­ma­nent Rep­re­sen­ta­tive at the UN in Geneva, will join the del­e­ga­tion.

For­eign Min­istry sources said more than a 100 coun­tries have sought to speak on Sri Lanka dur­ing the three and a half hours al­lot­ted for the dis­cus­sion.

The UPR was cre­ated through the UN Gen­eral As­sem­bly on March 15, 2006 by resolution 60/251, which estab­lished the Hu­man Rights Coun­cil it­self. It is a co­op­er­a­tive process which, by Oc­to­ber 2011, has re­viewed the hu­man rights records of all 193 UN Mem­ber States. Cur­rently, no other uni­ver­sal mech­a­nism of this kind ex­ists.

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