The United Nations yesterday said that the UN Deputy Secretary-General sent a letter to relevant heads of UN departments, offices, funds and programmes this week, asking them to nominate representatives to participate in a working group to give careful consideration to the recommendations set out in the Internal Review Panel report on United Nations actions in Sri Lanka.
Addressing the daily press briefing at the UN Headquarters in New York, Martin Nesirky, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General said, “you will recall the Secretary-General asked the Deputy Secretary-General to convene this working group and report to him.”
“The working group is expected to complete its deliberations sometime in the second quarter of next year, with options for action and implementation. These will be reviewed by the Deputy Secretary-General after discussion with relevant heads of the UN system before the findings are presented to the Secretary-General.”
The following is the transcript of the briefing
Question: And just one factual thing and… would… you may either have this or you could look, I am wondering, in order to figure out whether the UN is still covering this issue. There is… the… the Sri Lanka Campaign, which is a well-known group based in the UK headed by Kofi Annan’s former spokesman, has put out an alert saying about 20 women that were taken into a hospital in Kilinochi, brought there by the army, haven’t been able to be visited by any human rights groups and are… and there… there is much concern about what the origin of being… putting these women in the military hospital outside of… of public reach, and so I wondered if… if… if… one, if the UN system is aware of this and has tried to look into it, and if it is not, what does it think of this? Is this… is this still the kind of thing that would be on the radar of the UN system, including given the reason that… that the DSG is doing this review?
Spokesperson: Well, I would put that review to one side, because it is something that is being looked at. There are recommendations in that report that the Secretary-General and the UN system take very seriously, and that is why this working group will be looking at them, as I just mentioned. Of course, there is a UN presence in the country, and of course there is UN interest from parts of the system in various developments in Sri Lanka, as elsewhere. If I have anything specific on the point that you mentioned, coming from this campaign, I’ll let you know. I don’t have anything specific here right now. Yes, Carla?