Sri Lanka’s UPR on November 1
Sri Lanka’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) where the country will be
given an unrestricted opportunity to explain the efforts taken to
promote and protect human rights before members of the UN Human Rights
Council is scheduled to be held on November 1.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s special envoy on Human Rights, Minister
Mahinda Samarasinghe said Sri Lanka is among the first countries to
begin the second UPR circle.
India, UK and 14 other countries will be reviewed at the first
session of the second UPR. Sri Lanka along with 15 other States
including Switzerland, Korea and Pakistan have been listed in the second
“The whole idea of the UPR is to constructively engage with the
countries to improve human rights conditions in their States,” Minister
Samarasinghe said adding that there is no room for games of naming and
shaming or passing adverse resolutions there.
“This is an excellent opportunity for Sri Lanka to demonstrate again
that the resolution adopted by the Council in March was unwarranted in
the backdrop of so much progress after the end of terrorism.”
In this instance Sri Lanka will have plenty of opportunities to
explain to the international community the actual situation on the
ground in contrast to the 19th regular session when the resolution was
passed where it had only one occasion to speak in right of reply, since
non members were not allowed to take part in the debate.
The first UPR circle which began in 2008 concluded in October 2011.
The UPR involves a review of human rights records of all 192 Member
States once in every four years. It was proposed by the UN HRC member
States on the basis of equal treatment for all countries, when the HRC
was formulated in 2006.
Reviews are conducted by the UPR working group consisting of all 47
members of the Human Rights Council. At the review, countries could
explain the measures taken in their lands to improve human rights
situations and the progress of voluntary pledges during the first UPR.
The reviews are conducted through discussions with member States
posing questions and making recommendations on HR issues.
At the end a report consisting of questions, comments and
recommendations as well as responses and voluntary pledges by the
country under review will be formulated for adoption.