18 September 2007International pacts that deal with peace, development and human rights will be the focus of this year’s annual campaign to promote the signature and ratification of treaties during the opening of the General Assembly session. Already 30 countries have signalled that they planned to sign, ratify or accede to at least one multilateral treaty deposited with the United Nations Secretary-General during this year’s event, the ninth in the series.The Focus 2007 Treaty Event, which will be held on the sidelines of the General Assembly’s General Debate at UN Headquarters in New York on 25-27 September and 1-2 October, is set to highlight 43 treaties and pacts, including those that cover human rights, terrorism, organized crime, corruption, environmental issues, the law of the sea, disarmament and international trade.Recently adopted treaties, such as the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and its Optional Protocol, as well as the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances, are expected to generate the greatest interest from UN Member States.
President Maithripala Sirisena is to send his representatives to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) which is currently meeting in Geneva, to appeal against interfering in Sri Lanka’s affairs.The President told media heads today that he hopes to send three of his representatives to Geneva. The text is to be further amended before it is submitted to the UN Human Rights Council Secretariat to be debated and voted on if required. (Colombo Gazette) A resolution is also being prepared to be submitted to the Council later this month. Accordingly, the President is to send former Ministers Dr. Sarath Amunugama and Mahinda Samarasinghe as well as the Governor of the Northern Province Dr. Suren Raghavan to Geneva. The initial draft text of a Resolution on Sri Lanka being circulated among members of the the UN Human Rights Council and human rights groups, has called on Sr Lanka to agree on a time-bound action plan to address the human rights issue.The draft requests the Office of the High Commissioner and relevant special procedure mandate holders, in consultation with and with the concurrence of the Government of Sri Lanka, to continue to strengthen their advice and technical assistance on the promotion and protection of human rights and truth, justice, reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka.