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Follow up report on Sri Lanka to put human rights responsibilities at the centre of UN thinking

( October 12, 2013, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) The follow-up work on the Report of the Secretary-General's Internal Review Panel on United Nations Action in Sri Lanka was released in New York yesterday and has identified three key priorities, according to reports by the Inner City Press

When asked about the follow-up to the work of the Internal Review Panel concerning Sri Lanka Associate Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General, Farhan Haq said the Deputy Secretary-General in his discussion yesterday had noted the main priorities and there will be more to say in days and weeks to come as the follow-up work proceed.

Farhan replied in the following manner "Well, regarding that, this is something that we are actually going to be in dialogue with Member States about, as you know. But basically, in terms of the concrete steps, based on the Internal Review Panel, the Deputy Secretary-General has now put together concrete actions that will put, first of all, human rights responsibilities at the centre of UN thinking; second of all, better collection of human rights information; third, a straightforward crisis management system to ensure clear responsibilities; fourth, better gathering of political support from Member States; and fifth, improved action on the ground.

And the Secretary-General has asked the Deputy Secretary-General to lead implementation of these actions, and he’ll be tracking the work in all those areas closely. But that work is in process right now."

During the briefing it was also pointed out during a question of whether the UN called for the stopping of arming of the government, that UN had called for combat to be halted and that 'corridors for peace' be established.

"I would just refer you to the statements we put out at the time which did in fact call for corridors for peace; places where essentially combat could be halted in order to allow for people to flee from the fighting. Each situation is different and the statements are different, but yes, we did try to call for places where people could be safe, and we made a number of statements on Sri Lanka, and I’d just refer you to the whole sweep of them," Associate Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General, Farhan Haq replied.

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