Posted on March 1st, 2012

Ministry of External Affairs

Countries emerging from painful conflicts and renewing their commitment to economic and social development after the eradication of terrorism, deserve understanding and sympathetic support from the international community, not judgmental attitudes buttressed by pressure which erodes the dignity and self-respect of developing nations, Professor G.L.Peiris, Minister of External Affairs, said in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, on Wednesday.

He made these comments at his meeting with Mr. Olugbenga Ayodeji Ashiru, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Nigeria. He explained to his counterpart in the Government of Nigeria the gist of his arguments in Geneva during the last few days.

The two Ministers said that they are looking forward to the establishment of resident Missions in their respective capitals shortly.

Prof. Peiris observed that the developing world has a particular interest in ensuring that organs of the United Nations system, such as the Human Rights Council, are not politicized, in the sense that they become instruments for giving effect to decisions made by power blocs for political reasons. If these bodies are to retain their practical relevance and usefulness in the modern world, there is the compelling need to preserve and indeed strengthen the culture that enables member States to formulate their opinions and to vote on the merits of a specific matter without undue ressure from powerful countries. If political and strategic lignments, rather than recourse to an issue based approach, re seen to determine voting patterns, the actual conduct of hese bodies, over time, will move further and further away rom the value system underpinning the Charter of the UnitedNations, the Minister observed.

Professor Peiris emphasized that external intervention at a ime when domestic procedures are vibrant and moving forward, s entirely counterproductive in terms of achieving results on he ground. Nothing is more crucial, he suggested, than nsuring that the wellbeing of countries recovering from the avages of terrorism — which should clearly be the sole aim nd objective — should not be lost sight of in the nterplay of global forces motivated by other agendas. It is mportant, he continued, to recognize in this context the istinction between co-operation and imposition: while the nternational community admittedly has a constructive role to lay, it must not seek to impose its will in an arrogant nd insensitive way.

Sri Lanka, having shaken off the scourge of terrorism against verwhelming odds, needs the space and the time to continue ts domestic process in keeping with local aspirations and ithin the framework of its own legal and cultural systems.

This has been acknowledged by perceptive commentators from the estern world, like Lord Rogan of Lower Iveagh, whose deep amiliarity with the complexities of the Northern Ireland ituation enhances the value of his views, Minister Peiris said.

Countries of Asia and Africa are the heirs to rich ivilizations which equip them to deal effectively with issues, however challenging, which confront them in modern times.

Nuances of context cannot be relegated in response to pressure f sustainability of solutions continues to be regarded as the riority requirement, the Minister pointed out.

A dinner hosted by the Foreign Minister of Nigeria in honour f the visiting Sri Lankan Foreign Minister was attended by a arge number of Ambassadors and High Commissioners who were nformally briefed by Prof. Peiris.


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