The top United Nations political official is heading tonight to Sri Lanka as part of the world body’s continuing efforts to assist authorities in the South Asian island nation tackle key challenges in the wake of last year’s end to the long-running civil war.
B. Lynn Pascoe, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, is scheduled to hold talks with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, other senior Government officials, opposition and minority party representatives, Tamil leaders, media representatives and civil society groups during the two-day visit.
Mr. Pascoe is also expected to meet with UN Resident Coordinator Neil Buhne and the UN Country Team in Sri Lanka, UN spokesperson Farhan Haq told journalists today.
The visit will focus on political reconciliation, human rights and the resettlement of internally displaced persons (IDPs), in line with a joint statement made by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Mr. Rajapaksa when the UN chief visited Sri Lanka in May last year.
The UN is also setting up a panel of experts as part of an accountability process for addressing violations of international humanitarian and human rights law following last year’s end to the civil war between Government forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).