UN High Commissioners for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein has made a reference to Sri Lanka in his report submitted to the UN General Assembly’s main body dealing with social, humanitarian, and cultural issues (Third Committee).
The High Commissioner presented a report and made a statement yesterday on the work of his Office (OHCHR) between August 2013 and July 2014, under his predecessor, Navi Pillay.
He said that during the reporting period OHCHR was assisting or conducting three Commissions of Inquiry or mandated investigations – on the Syrian Arab Republic, Central African Republic and Sri Lanka – with three more soon to become operational, on Eritrea, the occupied Palestinian territory including East Jerusalem, and Iraq.
“When I took up my mandate as High Commissioner for Human Rights last month, I was startled to discover that all the extensive work of this Office is achieved despite funding shortfalls that burden the Office with significant capacity deficits,” said the High-Commissioner.
One of the UN pillars, human rights only receives only a fraction of the Organization’s resources. For the 2014-2015 biennium, $173.5 million was allocated to OHCHR – 87% less than the allocation to the peace and security pillar, and 84 per cent less than the allocation to development.
“This is not sustainable,” Mr. Zeid said.
“When human rights go wrong – when violations and abuses generate explosive crises and conflicts – the cost in bloodshed, in wrecked economies and humanitarian aid is titanic,” he added, urging the world to enable his Office not only with the capacity to detect and alert to violations, but to ensure that the “alarm bells” are followed by swift action. (Colombo Gazette)