UN HRC Archived Tweets

UN HRC


By TAG, On Thursday, March 27 2014

 
By Tamils Against Genocide, On Friday, March 21 2014

[Opening statement by Mrs Kelebone D Skelemani, Former Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministries of Health, Trade, Home Affairs in Botswana]   Ladies and Gentlemen! I greet you from the Republic of Botswana in Southern Africa. When I received an invitation from the organisers of this event, I welcomed it with open arms because I view this meeting as a golden opportunity for all concerned parties to get to the table to openly discuss problems that have been bedevilling their society. I should have arrived in Geneva in the evening of Sunday the 16th March, but a minor freak accident forced me to abandon the journey in Johannesburg and to return to my country on Sunday evening. I therefore wish to start my brief remarks by apologising most sincerely, to the organisers, for my inability to be with you this afternoon. I also wish to thank, upfront, Tamils Against Genocide and The Society for Threatened People for their kind invitation. The topic for today’  Read on...

 
By Tamils Against Genocide, On Friday, March 21 2014

Watch this space: We will be releasing the transcript of this event and the exclusive less-censored footage of Gender-based violence put together by Callum Macrae as soon as they are available.  Read on...

 
By , On Wednesday, March 12 2014

March 11, 2014   Day 7 of the 25th session of the Human Rights Council continued apace, with interactive dialogue (ID) with the Special Rapporteurs (SRs) on the rights to food and adequate housing, which began on Day 6.   At the end of the clamorous ID, two UN independent experts - the first on the issues of human rights, obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment, and the second on the effects of foreign debt and other related international financial obligations - presented their opening remarks. These were followed by the ID with member states, NHRIs and NGOs.   The often complementar y relationship between Human Rights and environmental issues was one of the main discussion themes during the clustered ID. The United States highlighted the absence of human rights obligations specific to the environment in any globally applicable, binding instrument or as a matter of customary international law. The EU also noted its act  Read on...

 
By TAG Advocacy, On Tuesday, March 11 2014

Day 6: March 10,2014 The second week of the 25th Human Rights Council Session started with the presentations of the Special Rapporteurs (SR) on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.: Mr. Juan Mendez and Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Mrs. Margaret Sekaggya. Their presentations were followed by clustered interactive dialogues  with  the member states NHRIs and NGOs. Special procedure for human rights defenders is currently one of the nine requests that have not been adequately addressed by the Government of Sri Lanka. SR on torture Juan Mendez highlighted the importance of the country visits of his mandate’s work.  Juan Mendez said “ The prohibition against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment enjoys the enhanced status of a  jus cogens or peremptory norm of general international law and requires states not merely to refrain from authorizing or conniving at torture or ot  Read on...

 
By Tamils Against Genocide, On Tuesday, March 11 2014

 
By Tamils Against Genocide, On Friday, March 07 2014

Day 3: March 5, 2014 Sri Lankan Minster of External Affairs G.L. Pieris delivered Sri Lanka's opening address to the 25th session of the Human Rights Council on Day 3 of the session. In the address, Sri Lanka completely rejected High Commissioner Navi Pillay's recent report on SL stating that it was 'fundamentally flawed', and raised issue at the onset regarding the financial independence of the Office of the High Commssioner for Human Rights. Minister Pieris stressed the suggestion that the High Commissioner's actions would create a negative impact on reconciliation in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka also attacked the High Commissioner's report as being based on 'questionable and baseless material' while Minister Pieris himself quoted statistics relating to IDP resettlement and denial of militarization which were contrary to the reality on the ground.  A copy of the 14-page address was passed around to members of the HRC and can be found here. Day 4: March 6  Read on...

 
By Tamils Against Genocide, On Wednesday, March 05 2014

4 March 2014 Following on from the strong statements on Sri Lanka made by the International Community on day 1 of the 25th Session of the UN Human Rights Council, the United States and Denmark both added their voice.   Sarah Sewall, US Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights noted  that without rigorous fact -finding that addresses grievances, impunity would be allowed to triumph and new abuses would occur. Sewall said: "In 2012, and again this year, this council urged the government of Sri Lanka to launch an independent investigation into the deaths of thousands of civilians during that country’s terrible civil war. To date, the government has refused.  Accordingly, the United States has introduced a resolution this year calling upon the Office of the High Commissioner to conduct an investigation into past abuses and to examine more recent attacks on journalists, human rights defenders, and religious minorities."   Read on...

 
By Tamils Against Genocide, On Tuesday, March 04 2014

3 March 2014 On a rousing first day of the 25th session of the UNHRC, representatives of the UK, Canada and the European Union all made strong statements calling for an international investigation into war crimes in Sri Lanka.   In his opening statement to the Session, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon welcomed Navi Pillay' s report on Sri Lanka, and sounded a warning note that the Council was keeping an eye on human rights abusers. This raised a few eyebrows, but is unsurprising considering the fact that Sri Lanka was also raised in the High Commissioners Annual Report. Nevertheless, this is a signal of the importance of this resolution on the HRC agenda. The UK's statement, made by FCO Minister Hugo Swire, followed up on the pledge made by Prime Minister David Cameron last November, after his visit to Sri Lanka. At the time, the PM called for CHOGM to support an international investigation on Sri Lanka. Swire said, "The Government of Sri Lanka has   Read on...

 
By Tamils Against Genocide, On Monday, March 03 2014

A first draft of the Resolution on Sri Lanka has been circulated by the United States, United Kingdom, Montenegro, Mauritius and Macedonia. While it stops short of calling for an international commission of inquiry or other international mechanism, it seeks minimally to ensure continued consideration of this issue at the twenty eighth session.  This is a deeply disappointing starting position both for Tamil victims/survivors and for INGOs who have campaigned for a International Investigation into Sri Lanka's mass atrocities of 2009 to be established at this 25th session of the Human Rights Council.  A key passage is at para 8: "Welcomes the High Commissioner's recommendations and conclusions on the need for an independent and credible international investigation in the absence of a credible national process with tangible results, and requests the Office of the High Commissioner to assess progress toward accountability and reconciliation,, to monitor relevant nationa  Read on...

 
By Tamils Against Genocide, On Monday, February 24 2014

With the current focus on the High Commissioner's country specific report on Sri Lank it is easy to miss the significance of Sri Lanka in the annual report in the context of the 'Rights Up Front' plan and the need to address  the UN's own failings. The Human Rights High Commissioner’s annual report to the Human Rights Council  highlights the recognition of the importance of human rights within the United Nations system and as one of the three pillars of the Organization, together with peace and security, and development. As an important development in this light she pointed out the report of the Secretary-General’s Internal Review Panel on United Nations action in Sri Lanka, together with the subsequent “Rights Up Front” plan of action.  The High Commissioner said that it “reaffirmed the centrality of human rights to the work of the United Nations, and provides critical recommendations for the whole system to be more responsive and responsible in preventing and addressing promptl  Read on...

 
By Tamils Against Genocide, On Thursday, February 20 2014

The High Level Panel on the 65th Anniversery of the Convetion on the Prevention of Genocide takes place on the 5th of March. In this context, we recap the significance for advocates of Genocide recognition in SriLanka of the 2011 advisory report of the UN Panel of Experts. The report strongly supports our position that Sri Lanka has been engaged in a genocide of the Tamil people. It provides estimates of Tamil civilian deaths in the final phase of the war ranging from 40 000, 75 000 to 80000 and 120 000 respectively based on different credible methodologies. The UN report concludes that a range of 40 000 deaths cannot be ruled out and finds that “most civilian casualties in the final phase of the war were caused by government shelling”   The Panel found credible evidence that the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) committed  murder, extermination, and persecution  of the Tamil population of Vanni, all of which constitute crimes against humanity (as defined in the Rome Statute of the I  Read on...

 
By Tamils Against Genocide, On Thursday, February 20 2014

The High Level Dialogue on Preventive Approaches within the UN system takes place on the 4th of March. In this context we republish our Press Release on the UN Petrie Report on Mass Atrocities in Sri Lanka, arguably the UN' s worst failure this century. The UN INTERNAL REVIEW PANEL REPORT ON SRI LANKA Tamils Against Genocide (TAG) welcomed the release of the Internal Review Panel Report on Sri Lanka, hereafter the Petrie Report. One of the key acknowledgements of the report was of a bias towards the Sri Lankan State, despite the availability of evidence that it was the State that was the greatest perpetrator of both war crimes and crimes against humanity. Detailed at length are numerous instances of UN knowledge of and access to evidence of atrocities at the hands of the Sri Lankan state, and both the failure of the UN to effectively challenge the Rajapaksa Government regarding these crimes and abuses, and its failure to communicate them to member states. Not only did the UN   Read on...