Amnesty International has welcomed the new UN Resolution on Sri Lanka, which will mandate the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to "collect" as well as "consolidate, analyse and preserve” evidence that could be used in future war crimes trials, describing it as "an important step forward" for victims of Sri Lanka's armed conflict but maintaining that it would depend on UN members taking "concrete action".
Commenting on the resolution Amnesty International's representative to the UN in Geneva, Hilary Power, commended the resolution as "an important first step" but maintained that:
“The real impact of further monitoring and reporting will rely on other UN member states using the resolution as a basis for concrete action, including investigations and prosecutions under universal jurisdiction and a possible referral to the International Criminal Court”.
Her critique was shared by CIVICUS, who has welcomed the resolution but also noted that it "represents a missed opportunity to mandate an international accountability mechanism."
In her statement, Power further highlighted the failure of Sri Lanka's domestic processes and noted the significance of this resolution.
"This is a significant move by the Human Rights Council, which signals a shift in approach by the international community. Years of support and encouragement to Sri Lanka to pursue justice at the national level achieved nothing. This resolution should send a clear message to perpetrators of past and current crimes that they cannot continue to act with impunity”, she stated.
She further added that should the government fail to abide by the resolution, “the Human Rights Council may take more robust action, including the establishment of an independent accountability mechanism,” she added.
The resolution on accountability and justice was successfully passed today, with 22 UN member states voting in favour, 11 voting in opposition, and 14 abstaining.
Read more here.