Govts not bound by recommendations of UN Special Rapporteurs: MFA

Govts not bound by recommendations of UN Special Rapporteurs: MFA

October 11, 2017   05:15 pm

Governments are not bound by the advice or recommendations of UN Special Rapporteurs, but can avail of the expert knowledge and experience of Special Rapporteurs who are available to Governments as a resource, Sri Lanka’s foreign ministry said.

“Their advice and expertise can be obtained by countries in a manner that would benefit institutional capacity building, policy formulation, and policy reform, training needs etc., as a Government may consider necessary,” a statement issued today said.  

At the invitation of the Government of Sri Lanka, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Promotion of Truth, Justice, Reparation and Guarantees of Non-Recurrence, Mr. Pablo de Greiff is currently on an official country visit to the country, from 10 – 23 October 2017.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said its attention has been drawn to some media reports connected to this visit, which give “erroneous and misleading” information. 

Successive Governments in Sri Lanka have been inviting such Special Rapporteurs to the country to obtain their views and expert advice on specific thematic areas, it said. 

“Mr. de Greiff, as is the case of all Special Rapporteurs, is an Independent Expert in a specific subject area. Special Rapporteurs are mandated to report and advise Governments on human rights from a thematic or country-specific approach. Mr. de Greiff’s mandate is thematic.” 

“His mandate allows him to make recommendations and advise countries concerning, inter alia, judicial and non-judicial measures when designing and implementing strategies, policies and measures for addressing violations of human rights and serious violations of international humanitarian law.”

“In his work, the Special Rapporteur follows a victim-centred approach and integrates a gender perspective. The victim-centred approach means ALL victims of a situation of conflict and not one group or one community.” 

Like any other Special Rapporteur, Mr. de Greiff too undertakes country visits at the invitation of Governments, the foreign ministry said. 

“Once Mr. de Greiff presents his Report to the Human Rights Council in September 2018, it is for the Government of Sri Lanka to decide whether there is anything that the Government considers beneficial to the people of Sri Lanka in his recommendations, and whether the Government wishes to draw on his knowledge, expertise and advice and consult him further in any manner,” the statement said.

During the visit, the Special Rapporteur is scheduled to meet with Ministers and Members of Parliament, Government officials at central and provincial levels, civil society, religious leaders, academics and representatives of the international community in Sri Lanka. 

He will travel to Trincomalee, Mannar, Anuradhapura, Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Vavuniya, Kandy and Matara. He will deliver two public lectures, one in Jaffna and one in Colombo, and address the media at the conclusion of his visit on 23 October, following the practice of all Special Rapporteurs with respect to country visits.

As required of Special Rapporteurs, he will present a Report on his visit to the Human Rights Council, in September 2018. 

 

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