UNHRC Secretariat to inform member states of budgetary implications ahead of adoption of consensus resolution on Lanka
OHCHR budget plans for six missions to Colombo, 14 days each
Budget makes provision for UN P4 level expert to review progress on
resolution and OHCHR recommendations
The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights will request the United Nations to pass a supplementary budget allocation to the tune of $ 337,800 in order to conduct its review and assessment of Sri Lanka’s progress, as mandated by the US-sponsored resolution to be adopted in Geneva today.
Before the resolution co-sponsored by Sri Lanka, entitled ‘Promoting Reconciliation, Accountability and Human Rights in Sri Lanka’, is adopted by consensus at the Human Rights Council this afternoon, the UNHRC Secretariat will make an oral statement detailing the “one time resources required” to implement the requests contained in the draft.
The Programme Planning and Budget Division of the UN Secretariat will inform the council that it will require the additional program specific funding for six missions to Colombo, of 14 days each for OHCHR Geneva-based staff, with “expertise in various thematic areas, including transitional justice and rule of law issues” to support and assess progress on the implementation of OHCHR’s recommendations and other relevant processes.
The OHCHR is also applying for the program specific funding to obtain assistance at the UN P4 or senior official level to support the ongoing review and assessment of progress of the recommendations and other processes mandated by the resolution. The funding will also go towards local transportation, security, communications and other miscellaneous expenses during field missions and conference services for the translation and processing of the final report.
The Secretariat will inform member states that if the council adopts the Sri Lanka resolution, additional one time requirements will arise.
Of the $ 337,800 PBI, $ 30,600 will be applied for under section 2, General Assembly and Economic and Social Council affairs and conference management, and $ 307,200 under section 24, human rights. The Secretariat will inform the UNHRC that since related provisions have not been included under the proposed program budget for 2016-2017, additional resources will therefore be required as a result of the adoption of the Sri Lanka draft resolution.
It remains unclear if any UNHRC member states will raise procedural issues with regard to the additional funding required by the OHCHR to implement the Sri Lanka resolution of 2015. Since Sri Lanka had already consented to the resolution, the objections are unlikely to arise but could not entirely be ruled out, UNHRC observers told Daily FT last evening.
In March 2014, when the US resolution mandating the OHCHR probe on Sri Lanka was taken up for discussion and vote, Pakistani Envoy to the UN Ambassador Zamir Akram raised strong objections to the budgetary implications of the UN investigation. When the Secretariat informed the council last year that the OHCHR would require $ 1.46 million to conduct the probe, Pakistan demanded a sub-vote before the resolution was voted on, calling for a no action motion because of the funding issue.
Pakistan’s no action motion was taken up for a vote and defeated on the floor last year, 25-16 votes, with six countries abstaining.