A UN internal review panel (IRP) released a report [text, PDF; press release] on Wednesday stating that the UN failed to meet its responsibilities at the end of and in the aftermath of the Sri Lanka war which ended in 2009. The report raises many concerns regarding the UN's response to certain situations, including failure to meet the needs of civilians toward the end of the war. The report has been made public despite its criticism of the UN due to a desire for transparency by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon [official website], who originally created the IRP. Ban said the UN is committed to improvement and learning from the report:
Our obligation to all humanity is to overcome our setbacks, learn from our mistakes, strengthen our responses, and act meaningfully and effectively for the future. These principles and objectives drove me to establish the Panel and they will guide us as we take forward its outcomes.The UN still faces challenges in Sri Lanka, as approximately 20,000 people have been killed since protests against the country's president began less than two years ago.
Despite the UN's admitted failed responses, the UN has urged Sri Lanka to improve its response to alleged war crimes since the end of the war. In July the country said it may take up to five years [JURIST report] to prosecute people accused of war crimes. In March the UN adopted a resolution [JURIST report], which was rejected by Syria, threatening retribution if the country did not domestically investigate and cooperate with UN investigations of war crimes committed. The same day that Sri Lanka rejected the resolution, the UN urged the country to investigate its war crimes despite a Sri Lanka commission's release of a report last year that military officials did not intentionally target civilians [JURIST reports].