September 22, 2011
New York City
Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird meets with G.L. Peiris, Minister of External Affairs of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, at the 66th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York City on September 22, 2011.
This was the two ministers' first formal bilateral meeting. They discussed a broad range of subjects, including the Commonwealth, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.
Minister Baird urged Sri Lanka to advance a process of reconciliation and expressed concerns over lack of accountability and a growing trend toward authoritarianism in that country.
He also reiterated Prime Minister Stephen Harper's concerns about Sri Lanka hosting the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in 2013.
Minister Baird supports calls for an independent investigation into credible allegations of violations of international humanitarian law and human rights committed by both sides of the conflict in Sri Lanka.