Geneva, 13 September 2022 (TDI): New Zealand’s First Secretary-Human Rights and Permanent Mission of New Zealand to the United Nations (UN), Emma Hodder, made a statement at the 51st session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UN HRC).

The statement focused on tackling Sri Lanka’s current crisis, freedom of expression and protest, Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) reform & accountability for historic human rights abuses.

Emma Hodder said that “New Zealand thanks the Office of the High Commissioner for the report and welcomes the continued attention of the Council on the situation in Sri Lanka, including renewal of the mandate of Resolution 46/1.”

Also Read: Sri Lanka at the HRC session

“New Zealand notes that the report references the impact of the current economic crisis in Sri Lanka on human rights. New Zealand continues to support Sri Lanka and its international partners to address all impacts of the crisis.” She added.

Moreover, she also stated that “New Zealand notes the largely peaceful response of authorities to large-scale protests during the first half of 2022. However, we are concerned by the recent hardening of the Sri Lankan Government’s approach to protestors. ”

Bilateral Relations between New Zealand and Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is represented in New Zealand by the High Commission for the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, Canberra, Australia, and New Zealand is represented in Sri Lanka by the New Zealand High Commission to Sri Lanka in Colombo.

The relationship between both countries is warm and growing. They have many commonalities as island nations and Commonwealth members.

They enjoy a strong rivalry on the cricket pitch and are making more sporting connections through rugby, which is growing in popularity in Sri Lanka.

Report on Sri Lanka at the HRC Session

Nada Al-Nashif presented a report by former High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, on new options to promote the establishment of responsibilities in Sri Lanka.

The Sri Lankan delegation in the HRC session was headed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka, Ali Sabry. He informed the Council on progress in advancing human rights and reconciliation and on action taken to ensure the socioeconomic well-being of the people.