COLOMBO: In a move that should help Sri Lanka out at the 19th sessi­on of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Gene­va, India has said it is against “country specific” resolutions because they may weaken the constructive dialogue and cooperative approach of the UNHRC.
The United States was expected to move a resolution at the UNHRC session, censuring Sri Lanka over alleged war crimes against Tamils during the civil war.
An Indian statement, read out by a delegate at Thursday’s session and published on UNHRC’s website, said the strength of UNHRC lay in its adherence to principles of “objectivity, transparency, non-selectivity, non-politicisation and non-confrontation.” And to sustai­n these attributes, UNHRC would need to ensure “inclusi­veness and emphasise dialogue and cooperation,” it and must be guided by “prudence rather than strategic expediency.”
“India is concerned that the recent trend and spate of country-specific resolutions may well end up weakening the constructive dialogue and cooperative approach which has prevailed so far in the Human Rights Council,” the statement said.
In India’s view, the most appropriate forum for discussing the rights situation in any specific country will be when the UNHRC takes up that country’s case under the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) regime.
“We believe the Universal Periodic Review enjoys a broad support, since it avoids selectivity, and provides for the human rights record of all UN member states to be subject to peer review. The enthusiastic participation by member states in the UPR process in the first cycle, underscores the success of this important mechanism,” the Indian statement said.
Sri Lanka’s rights record is to come up for UPR in October. Colombo has asked for time till then to implement recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission, which the US and the Western bloc has been demanding.