Today Sri Lanka at the 37th Session of the UN Human Rights Council

The UN Human Rights Council convenes thrice every year in regular sessions – i.e. in February-March, June, and in September. The current 37th Session of the Council convened on 26 February 2018 and will conclude on 23 March[1].

On Monday 19 March 2018, Sri Lanka’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Report under the 3rd cycle of the UPR will be adopted at the 37th Session of the Council. The Universal Periodic Review is a unique process which involves a periodic review of the human rights records of all 193 UN member states once in every 5 years. It is a process that is based on peer review and equal treatment for all countries. Since the UPR process was introduced in 2007, there have been two complete UPR cycles where the human rights situations of all 193 UN member states were reviewed. The current 3rd cycle of the UPR began in May 2017 and is presently ongoing. Sri Lanka’s review under the 3rd cycle of the UPR, together with Czechia, Argentina, Gabon, Ghana, Peru, Guatemala, Switzerland, Republic of Korea, Benin, Pakistan, Zambia, Japan and Ukraine, was held during the 28th Session of the UPR Working Group that convened from 6-17 November 2017. Sri Lanka’s delegation to this review that took place on 15 November during the 28th Session of the UPR Working Group was led by the Deputy Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs, Harsha de Silva[2]. The adoption of the UPR Report of Sri Lanka’s 3rd review by the Human Rights Council will take place at the current 37th session of the Council on 19 March. Sri Lanka will be represented at this session by Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, Ravinatha Aryasinha.

Having considered the implementation of Resolution 30/1 of 1 October 2015[3], the Human Rights Council, at its 34th Session (27 February – 24 March 2017) adopted Resolution 34/1 on 23 March 2017[4]. By this Resolution, the Council requested the Office of the High Commissioner to continue to assess progress on implementation of its recommendations and other relevant processes related to reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka, and to present a written update to the Human Rights Council at its 37th session (i.e. the current session of the Council). Accordingly, as requested by the Council, the Office of the High Commissioner will present a written update to the Council on 21 March 2018 afternoon. Sri Lanka will be represented during this session on 21 March, by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Tilak Marapana and the Minister of Special Assignments Sarath Amunugama.