The European Union stressed the importance of human rights and reconciliation during the 22nd meeting of the Joint Commission between the EU and Sri Lanka, held in Brussels today, highlighting the need for "further progress" on the UN Human Rights Council resolution 30/1.
"The EU and Sri Lanka agreed on the importance to continue working closely together on human rights and reconciliation, issues which figured prominently on the agenda of the meeting," the joint statement issued today noted.
Discussing the granting of the preferential trade tariff, GSP+, the EU reiterated the need for Sri Lanka to repeal its draconian anti-terror legislation, as it had pledged to do so.
"Sri Lanka reaffirmed the commitments made to implement 27 conventions on human and labour rights, environment and good governance in order to benefit from the GSP+ scheme. In this context, while acknowledging that the new draft legislation was now being considered by Parliament, the EU reiterated the need to repeal and replace the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) in order to bring counterterrorism legislation in line with international standards."
During the meeting, which was held just days before the start of the next UNHRC in Geneva where Sri Lanka's co-sponsored resolution is to be discussed, the EU also "stressed the need for further progress".
"The meeting provided an opportunity to exchange views on the implementation of the UN Human Rights Council Resolution of 1 October 2015, co-sponsored by Sri Lanka. The important steps taken by Sri Lanka with regard to establishing an Office on Missing Persons and passing legislation to set up an Office for Reparations were welcomed. Sri Lanka's continued commitment to the implementation of the resolution was acknowledged and the EU stressed the need for further progress in the advancement of national reconciliation. The EU expressed its continued readiness to support Sri Lanka in these efforts," the statement added.