Depoliticise UN system and mechanism to enhance credibility – President Rajapaksa calls on member nations “As Buddha said all human endeavour must be to construct order out of chaos and harmony out of strife”

Although the role of the UN in advancing international peace, security and prosperity is crucial in the contemporary world, in order to gain the confidence and goodwill of the international community as a whole, one of the essential requirements is consistency of standards across the board without any perception of selectivity or discrimination, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said. “It is in this context that the current functioning of the system needs fresh examination in order to enhance its credibility. To be successful, this process must involve de-politicisation of the UN systems and mechanisms and they must stop being hostage to different forms of funding,” he elaborated.

Addressing the 69th Session of the UN General Assembly in New York last evening, he pointed out that human rights are used as a tool to implement motivated agendas with no understanding or appreciation of the complexity of issues in the countries concerned. “Human rights should be recognised by all as a moral and ethical concept rather than as a political tool. External intervention without adequate consideration of the structures in a society and cultural traditions of the countries where such intervention takes place, inevitably results in destabilisation, which is very much in evidence today, in most parts of the world.”

President Rajapaksa said that post-conflict Sri Lanka has also become an unfortunate victim of ill-conceived agendas of some in the Human Rights Council, who pay scant regard to the substantial progress achieved by Sri Lanka, in reconstruction, rehabilitation and reconciliation within a short span of 5 years. Stating that there is an obvious lack of balance and proportion in the manner in which my country is being targeted today, disregarding these significant achievements, the President pointed out that this approach is in sharp contrast with the approach to deeply disturbing situations involving humanitarian emergencies elsewhere.

Expressing satisfaction over the goals achieved so far, he pointed out that there are multiple challenges that still remain to be addressed. The moral and practical importance of creating an equitable world and a sustainable planet for this purpose cannot be ignored, he said.

“The Commonwealth, of which Sri Lanka is the current Chair in Office, accounts for over one quarter of the UN membership. In November 2013, the Commonwealth Heads of Government agreed in Colombo, to contribute to the process of evolving the new post-2015 global development agenda. They have endorsed the central focus on the eradication of extreme poverty and re-affirmed commitment to sustainable development,” the President said. He recalled that reducing inequality within and among countries is one of the most transformative goals that have been proposed by the Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals. “We hope that this goal will serve to enhance the voice and representation of developing countries in decision making.”

Referring to the major issue of terrorism and the current crisis of battling this menace, President Rajapaksa reminded the august gathering the words of Gautama the Buddha who said that the purpose of all human endeavour must be to construct order out of chaos and harmony out of strife. “True to these words of wisdom, the Government of Sri Lanka remains committed to its objective of pursuing the processes of reconciliation, and nation building, undeterred by ill-motivated criticism,” he said in conclusion.

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