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Human Rights Council 32nd Session (13 June – 1 July 2016) Item 2: Country reports and oral updates of the High Commissioner

29 June 2016

Ireland aligns itself with the statement of the European Union and adds the following.

Mr President,

Ireland thanks the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights for today’s update on Sri Lanka. We also thank Foreign Minister Samaraweera for his statement this afternoon.

We welcome the Sri Lankan Government’s positive engagement with this Council to date and recognise areas in which progress has been made towards the implementation of HRC resolution 30/1. This includes the visits by Special Rapporteurs and steps being taken towards the establishment of an Office of Missing Persons.

We urge the Government to ensure that the implementation of commitments made under resolution 30/1 is carried forward in an inclusive manner. We would also emphasise the importance of international participation in the accountability mechanism, and look forward to concrete mechanisms being put in place to give effect to this.

Given our national history, we are well aware that reconciliation is a process which can take time. It is also one which requires consistent engagement. We urge the Government of Sri Lanka to build on recent momentum to ensure the full implementation of this resolution. In particular, we call on the Government to repeal the Prevention of Terrorism Act and to deliver on commitments made in the area of domestic law reform based on broad and open consultations with all affected communities.

We look forward to the next report of the High Commissioner to this Council on this matter during the 34th Session in March 2017.

Mr President

We further thank the High Commissioner for his report on the human rights situation of Rohingya Muslims and other minorities in Myanmar.

We welcome the significant progress that has taken place in Myanmar in recent years. We also recognise that the new Government has made important commitments towards tackling the many challenges it faces to bring peace and reconciliation, democratic reforms, and development and economic growth to all its people. The need to guarantee respect for human rights and the rule of law for all people in Myanmar remains central to achieving this.

Nevertheless, the High Commissioner’s report indicates a range of challenges that must be addressed with utmost urgency to ensure that Myanmar meets its international obligations with regard to the situation of the Rohingya Muslims and other minorities. We express our serious concern at the human rights violations identified in the report. We echo the High Commissioner’s call to the Government to end discriminatory practices and policies with the utmost urgency, and to take comprehensive steps to address the root causes of all human rights violations and abuses. We agree that engagement with civil society in addressing these issues will contribute to a strong foundation for Myanmar’s ongoing transition.

Thank you