The European Union (EU) delegation visited Sri Lanka to review Sri Lanka’s progress in implementing the 27 international conventions applicable under the GSP+ scheme concluded their visit today (6).
The delegation visites Sri Lanka on 27 September.
The said conventions, ratified by Sri Lanka, cover human and labour rights, environment and climate, as well as good governance principles.
Over the course of ten days, the officials held wide-ranging meetings with representatives of the government, including President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Foreign Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris, Justice Minister Ali Sabry, and Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa.
The officials also met with the opposition, civil society including human rights defenders, trade unions and employers.They had exchanges with EU Member States Ambassadors and UN agencies.
The monitoring mission addressed issues impacting human rights and the rule of law, economic, social, and cultural rights, and labour relations.
The visiting officials discussed the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), recalling that the amendment of the PTA was a key commitment in readmitting Sri Lanka to the GSP+ scheme in 2017.
There was a significant focus on non-discrimination, the respect for the rights of all communities in Sri Lanka, the ongoing use of the PTA, impediments to the exercise of fundamental freedoms, and the development of draft legislation on Non-Governmental Organisations.
The meetings also reviewed drugs policy, environment and climate change, as well as corruption. The utilisation and future development of the GSP+ scheme was the topic of a webinar organised by the European Chamber of Commerce Sri Lanka, with the participation of EU representatives.