The works of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in countries like Sri Lanka had helped the International Community to address Human Rights issues and work towards accountability, UN General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon has said.
He was addressing an event organised by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on the United Nations Human Rights Council’s 10th Anniversary on Tuesday.
“The Council's work on Burundi, Guinea, South Sudan, Sri Lanka and Syria has helped the international community to respond to human rights emergencies and work towards accountability,” he said.
Commenting on the Syrian conflict in particular, he said the people of that country had endured horrific and widespread Human Rights abuses, including extrajudicial executions and torture, and repeated his call to the Security Council to refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court.
He said Human Rights were, sadly, “under attack” worldwide and the UNHRC must increase its impact on the ground over its second decade.
“Ten years on, I commend the Council on making important progress towards putting the Human Rights pillar back at the centre of the United Nations system,” the UN chief said.
He said an important task for the Council was to reinforce the links between Human Rights, peace and security, and development.
“While member States have the primary responsibility for upholding rights, the member States that are all too often in breach of their commitments,” he said urging the Human Rights Council to more than ever pursue its work with courage. (LP)