A United Nations Special Adviser on children and armed conflict has begun a 9-day field visit to Sri Lanka aimed at ensuring better protection from the ravages of the civil war in the strife-torn country, where 17 relief workers killed three months ago were today honoured by their relatives.
Ambassador Allan Rock, the special adviser for Radhika Coomaraswamy, UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, is visiting Sri Lanka at the invitation of the Government, although he will also meet the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the Karuna Faction on their obligations to protect children, according to a press release.
He will also have discussions with UN partners, civil society and other relevant actors before returning on 14 November when a report on the visit will be presented to the Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict, the release added.
Ambassador Rock was Canada’s Ambassador to the UN from 2004 to 2006 and served as Chair of the Group of Friends of the Office of the Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict. He has worked extensively on human rights issues and was involved in the establishment of the enhanced Human Rights Council and the Peacebuilding Commission.
In a related development, 17 relief workers for the non-governmental organization (NGO) Action against Hunger, slain three months ago in the town of Muttur in northeastern Sri Lanka, were honoured today by their families and colleagues, a UN spokesman told reporters in New York.
“The Acting UN Humanitarian Coordinator, Jeff Taft-Dick, reaffirmed the commitment of the United Nations to ensure that the full investigation is concluded and never to forget those who were killed,” said spokesman Stephane Dujarric.