Sri Lanka leads G-15 in call for Heightened South-South Cooperation

G15photoweb 1                                                                        G15photoweb 2

 The G-15 foreign ministers, meeting on the side-lines of the General Assembly last week (27 September 2013), renewed their commitment for enhanced engagement and cooperation among themselves, as well as with the relevant Geneva-based institutions. Their primary focus was on newly emerging areas of cooperation in step with the evolving post-2015 development agenda, and they agreed to expand cooperation in four new thematic areas – information communication technology, intellectual property, migration for development and renewable energy. The Group includes Algeria, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Jamaica, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.



SL receives broad cross-regional support in the HRC on substantive progress in reconciliation

Sri Lanka received strong cross-regional support in the Human Rights Council from countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America on Thursday ( 26 September 2013) which uniformly welcomed and commended the country’s significant progress achieved in the reconciliation process. 


High Commissioner Pillay has no mandate to set deadlines on Sri Lanka - Ambassador Aryasinha

Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha told the UN Human Rights Council on Wednesday (25 September 2013) "Sri Lanka strongly repudiates the High Commissioner’s assertion that if certain concerns are not comprehensively addressed before March 2014, she believes the international community will have a duty to establish its own inquiry mechanisms". The Ambassador said High Commissioner Navanethem Pillay had "no mandate to make such a claim". He said having accomplished the task of bringing normalcy to the lives of the civilian population, GOSL has put in place "multiple mechanisms" to address concerns relating to accountability.


Sri Lanka empathetic to the many challenges faced by Sudan in its progression towards normalcy

In an intervention made during the interactive dialogue with the Independent Expert on Sudan in the 24th session of the Human Rights Council on 25 September 2013, Deputy Solicitor General Mr. A. H. M. D Nawaz said that, as a country that has emerged from a protracted terrorist conflict, Sri Lanka is empathetic to the many challenges faced by Sudan in its progression towards normalcy.


Sri Lanka reiterates its strong commitment to the core principles of equality and non-discrimination

Sri Lanka recognized the need to address, at the global level, contemporary manifestations of racial discrimination such as xenophobia and related intolerance and reiterated its strong commitment to the core principles of equality and non-discrimination embodied in the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action.


Sri Lanka believes IP is an important catalyst for economic and social empowerment

Addressing the 51st Session of the WIPO Assemblies on 23rd September 2013, Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha, Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva observed that the innovations and the well-managed mechanisms for protection of intellectual property rights play a crucial role in enhancing the social and economic development of a nation.

As the world is looking beyond the year 2015 for way forward through a comprehensive development agenda, IP has a crucial role to play in enriching the lives of vulnerable sections of humanity and creating greater opportunities for growth and prosperity.  Sri Lanka believes that IP is not only a tool for innovation and creativity but also an important catalyst for economic and social empowerment of a wide spectrum of people.


SL asks detractors at HRC not to discredit the Northern PC election process or prejudge its outcome

Exercising a 'right of reply' with regard to references made to Sri Lanka by Germany, the US and Ireland under Agenda Item 4 - General Debate at the ongoing 24th Session of the Human Rights Council, the Sri Lanka delegation on Thursday (19 September 2013) said, it seemed ironic that at a time when for the first time since the introduction of the Provincial Council system in 1987 elections to the Northern Provincial Council are to be held later this week that Germany should choose to discredit the process and prejudge its outcome and impact. It was noted that the commitment of the Government to ensure the transparent and free and fair conduct of the election not only to the Northern Provincial Council, but also to the Central and North Western Provincial Councils which go to the polls this Saturday is clearly demonstrated by the presence of  24 election observers from the South Asian region as well as from Commonwealth countries, on the invitation of the Elections Commissioner.

Full text of the statement

Draft bill to safeguard the existence and rights of Sri Lanka's indigenous people

The Government of Sri Lanka has launched a three-year project, implemented by the Ministries of Cultural Affairs and National Heritage, to table a draft bill to safeguard the existence and rights of the indigenous people, “vanniyaletto” also known as the “aadivasi”. The project also provides legal facilities to the indigenous community, measures to conserve their traditional knowledge and traditional medicines, and support to establish a museum on their heritage, among others.  In order to create greater awareness about the indigenous community, which is instrumental towards the preservation of their lifestyle, the Government has also established several cultural centres and documented the history of the community and their way of life.


G-15 emphasizes at UNCTAD that Post 2015 Development Agenda needs a renewed global partnership

UNCTAD Sept2013

H.E. Mr. Ravinatha Aryasinha, Chair of Personal Representatives/Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka delivered the Joint Statement on behalf of the Group of Fifteen (G-15) at the 60th Session of the UNCTAD held on 16 September 2013.

The Group observed that although globalization continues to serve as a powerful driver for strengthening cooperation and accelerating growth and development, it also presents risks and challenges, especially to the developing countries. The Group highlighted the critical role of UNCTAD to help reduce and eventually eliminate the trade gap between the developed and developing countries and to accelerate the rate of economic growth of the developing world. The Group commended UNCTAD for its incisive and independent economic research on global economic issues and encouraged UNCTAD to continue to support developing countries in their efforts to design and implement comprehensive, integrated and coherent national trade and development strategies and movement in the value chain.


Post 2015 development agenda needs a renewed global partnership – Amb. Ravinatha Aryasinha

Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha, Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva and Chairman of the Personal Representatives of the G-15, has said "the post-2015 development agenda would need to be supported by a renewed global partnership grounded on the values of equity, solidarity and human rights, fully mobilizing developed and developing countries, leaving no one behind".


Sri Lanka calls for greater focus on addressing the special needs of developing countries

Sri Lanka says, while there needs to be commitment at both national and international levels to achieve the right to development, there must be more focus on addressing the special needs of developing countries which are unequally impacted by structural problems, external events and global economic and financial crises.


Sri Lanka says approach of each state to reconciliation must be context-specific

Sri Lanka has highlighted the highlight the need to adopt "a pragmatic, context specific approach in addressing issues of transitional justice" and noted that "the approach of each state to reconciliation must be context-specific, taking into account the particularities of each state and the aspirations of its people".


Ambassador Aryasinha says Sri Lanka looks toward an objective and unbiased approach by HC Ms. Pillay

Sri Lanka looks toward an objective and unbiased approach to Sri Lanka by High Commissioner Navanethem Pillay in fulfilment of her mandate, following her recent visit where she had unfettered access to asses first-hand the on-going reconciliation process in Sri Lanka. This would also enable her to be better placed to not give credence to unsubstantiated allegations of those with vested interests and agendas, largely driven by certain extreme elements in the Sri Lankan Diaspora.

Sri Lanka's Ambassador to the UN in Geneva and Leader of the Sri Lanka Delegation  Ravinatha Aryasinha made this observation when he delivered the national statement at the 24th session of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva which opened on Monday (9 September 2013).

Full text of the Statement and Media Release.

UN human rights chief to visit North and East

Navi Pillay
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay will make field visits to North and East during her stay in the island, her office in Geneva said in a statement.


Major Trade Fair to coincide with CHOGM Colombo

The Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka in Geneva is pleased to announce that arrangements are underway to organize a major international trade exhibition on the sidelines of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, which is scheduled to be held in Colombo from 13–17 November 2013.

The exhibition will primarily focus on promoting latest technology / machinery that are useful for local industries and finding export markets for Sri Lankan products. 


SL ready to share its experience as best practices on humanitarian effectiveness with other countries

Mr. Ravinatha Aryasinha

Sri Lanka's Ambassador to the UN in Geneva Ravinatha Aryasinha has said “the approaches used in post-tsunami and post-conflict Sri Lanka, with suitable adaptation, could be deployed in managing humanitarian situations in other countries as well, and that the Government of Sri Lanka continues to stand ready to share its experience as best practices on humanitarian effectiveness, with other countries that are similarly placed, in an effort to relieve those who undergo suffering due to humanitarian emergencies.


Minister Amunugama says Sri Lanka is a trend setter in achieving Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)

Senior Minister of International Monetary Cooperation and Deputy Minister of Finance and Planning Dr. Sarath Amunugama has said in spite of a long drawn out battle against terrorism for nearly three decades, and being further constrained by the 2004 Asian tsunami and the impact of the global recession, Sri Lanka had been a trend setter in integrating Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) effectively in to the national development agenda and ensuring realization of these targets.


SL says meaningful engagement not possible with pro-LTTE Diaspora seeking to prevent reconciliation

Sri Lanka's Ambassador to the UN in Geneva Ravinatha Aryasinha has said politically mobilized pro-LTTE diaspora sustain hatred and prevent reconciliation in Sri Lanka and that with groups having such a pre-disposition meaningful engagement was not possible. Noting that the transnational political opportunity structures prevalent in host states help shape and sustain such diaspora activism, he observed that countries which continue to condone with the hostility and disruptive tendencies shown by such pro-LTTE elements are giving a wrong signal.


G 15 delivers Joint Statement at 38th Session of FAO, Rome

FAO Rome June 2013Hon. Mr. Mahinda Yapa AbeywardenaLeader of the Sri Lankan delegation, Minister for Agriculture

Hon. Mr. Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, Minister for Agriculture delivered a Joint statement on behalf of the Group of Fifteen (G-15) at the 38th Session of the Food and Agriculture Conference held in Rome from 15-22 June 2013.


Sri Lanka’s education policy strengthens understanding between different ethnic groups

Sri Lanka has highlighted the importance of education as an essential tool in combating racism and racial discrimination. Intervening during an Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance at the on-going 23rd Session of the Human Rights Council, Assistant Director/Foreign Affairs Mr. Madhuka Wickramarachchi, observed that Sri Lanka’s education system which is founded on the principles of non-discrimination and equal rights for education have contributed positively in strengthening the understanding between different ethnic groups in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka calls for international action to stem glorification of terrorism

Sri Lanka's Ambassador to the UN in Geneva Ravinatha Aryasinha has asked that greater attention be paid in Global Counter Terrorism Strategy, to the role of terrorist support networks that take the form of front organizations, the challenge posed by the abuse of Information Communication Technology (ICT) and the propriety of the use or display of terrorist group emblems, insignia and symbols.


G-15 delivers Joint Statement at the 102nd International Labour Conference, Geneva

Hon. Gamini Lokuge, Minister of Labour and Labour Relations delivered a Joint statement on behalf of the Group of Fifteen (G-15) at the 102nd International Labour Conference on 12th June 2013 in Geneva. The Group of Fifteen raised their concern that the continuing global financial crisis resulting in uncertain economic outlook, aggravated unemployment and rising poverty levels, is hampering ongoing efforts towards achievement of the Millennium Development Goals in many developing countries particularly in Asia and Africa.


SLsays progress in addressing human rights concerns and reconciliation acknowledged by

The Sri Lanka delegation to the on-going 23rd Session of the Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva has said " the Government's progress with regard to addressing human rights concerns and reconciliation is being amply demonstrated on the ground, acknowledged by many in the international community, and elaborated comprehensively and in detail at successive Council sessions by the Sri Lanka delegation, including during the current Council session' ".


Sri Lanka's high enrolment rates in schools contribute to achieving gender parity

Sri Lanka has observed that the high enrolment rates at primary and secondary levels which reflect the impact of longstanding policies supporting access to basic education without discrimination, have contributed towards Sri Lanka’s success in achieving gender parity in primary, secondary and tertiary education.


Minister Vitarana says SL expects to increase high tech value added exports from 1.5% to 10% by 2016

Prof Tissa Vitarana 16th Session

Senior Minister for Scientific Affairs, Prof Tissa Vitarana told the 16th Session of the Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) held in Geneva last week, that Sri Lanka which is now a middle income country expects to increase the contribution of high tech value added exports to the national economy from the present 1.5% to 10% by 2016 through the implementation of the National strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation. Revealing details of the national strategy he mentioned that in line with the target of doubling its per capita GDP to USD 4000 by 2016, the strategy is aimed at achieving effective social economic development, through research directed on national needs, use of advanced technologies and building a culture of techno – entrepreneurship between the public & private sector partnership.


SL emphasizes need for regulation, transparency and accountability in funding to NGOs and NPOs

Sri Lanka has emphasized that regulation, transparency and accountability of funding to NGOs and NPOs is a pre-requisite in the interest of national security and counter-terrorism as recognized by states, and that obligation placed on states to adhere to the regulatory framework in compliance with 40 Recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force, makes it mandatory to monitor fund transfers of all financial institutions inclusive of NPOs and INGOs (associations) and other financial institutions, in countering financing of terrorism, money laundering or other related trans-national crimes.


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