Sri Lanka on Monday referred to the necessity for constructive engagement by states to increase transparency in the funding and staffing of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), as a means of enhancing the institution’s credibility, efficiency and independence.
Speaking at 21st Regular Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva on Monday, the permanent representative of Sri Lanka and leader of the Sri Lankan delegation Ravinatha Aryasinha said, “Sri Lanka is firmly committed to maintaining the independence of the OHCHR, and supports the High Commissioner in her efforts to fulfil her mandate as contained in GA resolution 48/141. Towards this end, we see constructive engagement by states aimed at increasing transparency in funding and staffing of the OHCHR, as a means of enhancing the institution’s credibility, efficiency and independence.
“We also encourage special procedures to vigilantly and vigorously observe the provisions as delineated in HRC Resolution 5/2 and the Code of Conduct as annexed, in the execution of their respective mandates, through a professional and impartial assessment of facts, to maintain credibility. For the effective and independent functioning of the OHCHR and the special procedures mandate holders, it is imperative that the majority of funding be derived from the OHCHR’s regular budget,” he said.
The ambassador also briefed the council on the current progress by Sri Lanka in keeping with Sri Lanka’s policy of continuous engagement with the UN System.
In his briefing, Aryasinha said, “Sri Lanka’s democratic credentials were yet again re-asserted two days ago with the successful conduct of Provincial Council elections, including in the previously conflict affected Eastern Province. The ruling coalition UPFA returned the highest number of seats in all three Provincial Councils that went to the polls – a clear endorsement by the Sri Lankan people of the policies of the government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa which has sought to meet the aspirations of all communities in the reconciliation process.