On Wednesday February 26, the Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, will formally tell the “High-Level Segment” of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) about his government’s decision to withdraw from the co-sponsorship of UNHRC Resolution 40/1 of March 2019 on ‘Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka’.
Resolution 40/1 incorporates and builds on the preceding Resolutions 30/1 of October 2015 and 34/1 of March 2017.
Gunawardena, who will lead the Lankan delegation to the 43 rd.Session of the UNHRC beginning in Geneva on February 24, will respond to the “Oral Update” on Sri Lanka to be given by the High Commissioner of Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on February 27.
He is scheduled to meet the High Commissioner during his stay in Geneva.
Ahead of the 43rd Session, Lankan Foreign Secretary Ravinatha Aryasinha briefed the President of the HRC Ambassador Elisabeth Tichy-Fisslberger on the decision of the government of Sri Lanka to withdraw its co-sponsorship.
The Foreign Secretary, who is presently in Geneva, informed the President on Friday that the Lankan Cabinet of Ministers had on Wednesday approved this decision following a cabinet paper submitted by Foreign Relations Minister Gunawardena. The decision had also been presented to the Parliament on Thursday. The minister had also briefed Ambassadors of the ‘Core Group’ which had moved the resolution, who were resident in Colombo, namely, the UK, Germany and Canada.
Ambassador Tichy-Fisslberger appreciated Sri Lanka’s initiative to keep her briefed on the matter, a press release from the Lankan Ministry of Foreign Relations said on Saturday.