ID on Sri Lanka

Item 2: Interactive dialogue on the OHCHR report on Sri Lanka. Statement by Norway on March 20, as delivered by Permanent Representative Hans Brattskar.

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Norway welcomes the Report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on Sri Lanka and shares the concerns raised therein. We commend Sri Lanka for its constructive engagement with this Council.

Resolution 30/1, co-sponsored by Sri Lanka, emphasized the importance of reconciliation, transitional justice, accountability and reform of the security sector, including the counter-terrorism framework.

Norway recognizes the progress made under some of the commitments in resolution 30/1, such as the establishment of the Office of Missing Persons. Norway also acknowledges the important role played by Sri Lanka’s democratic institutions in the peaceful resolution of the political situation that arose in Sri Lanka from October to December 2018.

However, after the two-year extension granted to Sri Lanka in 2017, we had hoped to see more progress, especially in areas such as transitional justice and accountability. Norway also emphasizes the importance of developing the draft counter-terrorism legislation in line with international standards.

Today, ten years after the end of the war, the trust of minority communities in the process of reconciliation, accountability and human rights is being steadily eroded due to slow progress in fulfilling the commitments made under resolution 30/1. Further delay could prevent Sri Lanka from achieving a lasting solution to its ethnic issues. Norway encourages Sri Lanka to continue to address the serious human rights violations that occurred both during the conflict and in the aftermath.

In order to reap the benefits of sustainable peace in Sri Lanka for all, Norway recommends that Sri Lanka develop a time-bound plan of action and benchmarks for the full implementation of its commitments on reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Resolution 30/1.