Statement by H.E. Ms. Sarala Fernando,Ammbassador of Sri Lanka & Chairperson of the ILO’s Governing Body Committee on Employment and Social Policy (ESP)at the ECOSOC High Level Segment Roundtable on“Creating Decent Work Opportunities with Productivity Gr

 Statement by H.E. Ms. Sarala  Fernando,

 Ambassador/Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN

 in Geneva and Chairperson of the ILO’s Governing Body Committee on Employment and Social Policy (ESP)

 at the ECOSOC High Level Segment Roundtable on

 “Creating Decent Work Opportunities with Productivity Growth”

 5 July, 2006

ECOSOC is welcome to Geneva.  Here in this serene environment and the background culture of peace, there is a renaissance of multilateralism, which could be  attributed to both wise and energetic leadership in the UN and international organizations in Geneva as well as the serious and constructive dialogue  witnessed among all stakeholders.  Our efforts are aimed to both build a vision for the future founded  on a sound knowledge  base with agreed political objectives, as well as practical work at the technical level to design appropriate projects and programmes to be implemented at national, regional and global levels.

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Address by Hon Athauda Senevirathne, Minister of Labour Relations and Foreign Employment of Sri Lanka - at the High-Level Segment of the Economic and Social Council

Mr. President
Excellencies
Ladies and Gentlemen

The High level dialogue has focused on many important areas in generating full and productive employment and decent work for all. We are all in agreement that the access to work is the surest way out of poverty. At the same time those countries that pursued social policy goals underline that this is a sound and sustainable investment for growth; supportive public policies in health, education and gender empowerment together with an enabling environment for entrepreneurship can provide impetus to employment creation.

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Address by Hon. Mahinda Samarasinghe Minister of Disaster Management and Human Rights of Sri Lanka at the First Session of the Human Rights Council – Geneva - 19 June 2006

Mr. President,
Excellencies,
High Commissioner for Human Rights,
Distinguished delegates,

On behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka, and on my own behalf, may I congratulate you Mr. President on your election to the Chair of this historic inaugural session of the UN Human Rights Council.  I would like to assure you my delegation’s support and cooperation as you undertake the onerous task of presiding over the deliberations of this august body.

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Statement made by Sri Lanka, Coordinator of the Asian Group at the Opening Plenary of the Second Formal Meeting of the Mid-Term Review (MTR)Geneva, 12 June 2006. (Dr. Dayaratna de Silva, Minister)

Mr. President

I am pleased to deliver this statement on behalf of the Asian Group.

At the outset we would like to thank Dr. Supachai Panitchpakdi, Secretary General of UNCTAD for his comprehensive statement. We would also like to thank Secretariat for its timely preparation of documentation which contain valuable recommendations that  will certainly assist in  our deliberations.

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STATEMENT DELIVERED BY H.E. MRS SARALA FERNANDO, AMBASSADOR/PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF SRI LANKA AT THE PLENARY OF THE CONFERENCE ON DISARMAMENT ON 8 JUNE, 2006

Mr. President,

Since this is the first time my delegation is taking the floor under your Presidency of the Conference, I take this opportunity to extend our sincere congratulations and also to compliment the serious, careful manner in which your Presidency has been prepared.  You may, of course, count on the full support of my delegation and myself personally as a Friend of the President to contribute to the successful conclusion of your task.  We appreciate the impressive compilation of the basic documents on PAROS put together by the Secretariat and distributed today.

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103rd session of the IOM Executive Committee 7-8 June 2006 Statement by the delegation of Sri Lanka (Mr. S. Pathirana, Second Secretary)

Opening remarks by Chairperson H.E. Mme Sarala Fernando at the undred and Third Session of the Executive Committee of IOM,  7th June, 2006

Excellencies,
Mr. Director-General
distinguished delegates

I would like to thank you for my election to Chair this session of the Executive Committee.  I take it as an honour to my country which has recently joined the Executive Committee for the first time.  I also congratulate the Vice President Mr. Osvald Alvarez of Chile on his election.

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Address by Hon Athauda Seneviratne, Minister of Labour Relations and Foreign Employment at the Panel Discussion on Technical Cooperation, 6th June 2006

Decent Work as a Global Goal: The Role of Development Cooperation

Chairperson,

On behalf of the government and the delegation of Sri Lanka, it is a great honour for me to address this panel on Technical Cooperation with a specific focus on Decent Work as a Global Goal: The Role of Development Cooperation.

Chairperson,

I understand that Sri Lanka is one of the first countries in Asia, where we have taken the Decent Work concept into our national development planning. In addition to the Decent Work Country Programme, which we finalized in 2004 together with the trade unions and the employers’ organisation, I am very pleased to inform you that we have now finalised the National Policy on decent work with a National Plan of action that gives directions on key areas for implementation in Sri Lanka.  

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Address by Hon. Nimal Siripala de Silva, Minister of Healthcare and Nutrition of Sri Lanka at the 59th World Health Assembly, Geneva – 23rd May, 2006

Mr. President, Your Excellencies and distinguished delegates.

Mr President,
I extend our congratulations and best wishes to you and the Vice-Presidents of this Assembly.

On behalf of H.E. the President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Government and people of Sri Lanka, I wish to extend our deepest condolences on the sudden passing away of Director General Dr. Lee Jong-wook. We extend our sincere condolences to the family of Dr. Lee and to the larger family of WHO in their moment of grief for a leader who brought effective management and a new vision to this organization. Sri Lanka will not forget Dr. Lee’s visit to Sri Lanka in the midst of our tsunami crisis to offer the support of WHO in our time of need.

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Statement by Ambassador Sarala Fernando, Head of Delegation of Sri Lanka to the Conference on Disarmament during the General Debate16th May, 2006

Mr. President,

Since this is the first time I am speaking under your Presidency, may I extend our greetings and convey sincere good wishes for every success.  Although you did mention on 23rd March that your opening remarks had lost much of their traditional value due to the unprecedented P6 initiative, it could also be said that within this collective engagement, each President has his own important responsibility; during your tenure of office, this will include preparing and conducting the structured debate on FMCT.  You also rightly reminded us that the debate takes place in the background of extensive early FMCT related consultations in the CD.

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Statement by H.E.Mrs.Sarala Fernando, Ambassador/Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka, Coordinator of the Asian Group -at the 2006 Mid-Term Review, First Formal Meeting -Geneva, 8-12 May 2006

Mr. Chairman,

I am pleased to deliver this statement on behalf of the Asian Group.

At the outset we would like to thank Dr. Supachai Panitchpakdi, Secretary General of UNCTAD for his comprehensive and focussed statement. We would also like to thank the Secretariat for the stocktaking report which shows  important progress has been made in the implementation of the Sao Paulo Consensus (SPC), while noting also areas for improvement. We expect UNCTAD to fully implement over the next two years, the mandate given to it by its Member States at Sao Paulo. A renewal or a complete review of UNCTAD’s mandate can only be undertaken by the quadrennial conferences.

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The key issues raised by Dr. A. Dayaatna Silva, Minister (Economic and Commercial) Head of Sri Lanka Delegation during the Adhoc Working Group on the General Standard and Food Additives (GSFA) and Codex Committee on Food Additives and Contaminants (CCF

  • The national CODEX Committee of Sri Lanka submitted its comments  and arguments on the use food additive Sulpher Dioxide (SO2) in Food Category 12.2.1, as contained in document CX/FAC/06/38/9 part 1.
  • Since November 2004, Sri Lanka has encountered problems with a number of consignments of “ Ceylon Cinnamon “ exported to the European Union  on the grounds that the consignments contained Sulphur Dioxide ( SO2).
  • Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) is a known, accepted  &  a widely used  food  additive & is described as   ‘ one of the most important & versatile additives with a good safety record ‘  used in the food industry.
  • As is known, there are no international standards that govern the use of SO2 in cinnamon as a food preservative  or an anti-oxident or as an anti browning (bleaching) agent in foods.

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39th session of the Joint Advisory Group on the International Trade Centre UNCTAD/WTO, Statement by Ambassador Sarala Fernando (Sri Lanka)- Geneva, 24 April 2006

 

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It gives me great pleasure, in my capacity as Chair of the 2005 session of the Joint Advisory Group meeting, to open this thirty ninth session.  I welcome Mr. Pascal Lamy, the Director General of WTO and Dr. Supatchai Panitchpakdi the Secretary General of UNCTAD.   Equally I recognize Mr. Denis Bélisle Executive Director of ITC, his successor-designate Mrs Patricia Francis and Mr Stephen Browne, the recently appointed Deputy Executive Director.  UNCTAD, WTO and ITC must be congratulated for the smooth execution of the plan for the succession of ITC’s senior management team.
   

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AID FOR TRADE ARCHITECTURE-Developing Countries Expectations towards AfT-Statement by Ambassador Gomi Senadhira - 21 March 2006

The successful conclusion of the Negotiations under the Doha Development Agenda would result in significant gains to both developed and developing countries.  However, as in the case of the Uruguay Round, these gains will not be evenly distributed. The trade liberalization would also entail additional costs, to some developing countries. The impact of these will be particularly harsh on  the LDCs and the weak and vulnerable economies.  Furthermore, some developing countries also will not benefit from the multilateral trade liberalization as they do not have the capacity to compete in the global markets with more competitive exporters from developed and more advanced export-oriented developing countries.

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Statement made by H.E. Mrs. Sarala Fernando, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka, coordinator of the Asian Group and China at the UNCTAD Commission on Investment, Technology, and Related Financial Issues 10th Session, Geneva, 6 – 10 March, 2

Mr. Chairman,

I am pleased to deliver this statement on behalf of the Asian Group.

At the outset we would like to congratulate you and other members of the Bureau on your well deserved election. We stand ready to assist you in the challenging task to make this Commission a success with tangible results. I also thank Dr. Supachai Panitchpakdi, Secretary General of the UNCTAD for his comprehensive statement and the Secretariat for its pertinent and timely preparation of documents for this meeting.  These contributions contained valuable ideas and recommendations that will no doubt assist our deliberations.

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Statement issued at the conclusion of talks between the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE in Geneva from 22-23 February 2006

Geneva Peace talks 23 feb 2006

 The Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) met in Geneva 22-23 February 2006 for talks on the Ceasefire Agreement. The parties discussed issues related to the ceasefire, including the concerns of the Muslim, Sinhalese, and Tamil civilians.

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Opening Statement by Hon. Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva Head of Delegation, Government of Sri Lanka at the opening session of the talks between Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE -22 February 2006

Nimal Siripala de Silva - Peace talks 22 feb 2006
22 February,2006-Geneva-Switzerland

 

Hon. Minister Erik Solheim and the Facilitation team,
Mr. Anton Balasingham and members of the LTTE delegation,
Colleagues,

Introduction

On behalf of H.E. the President of the Republic of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Government of Sri Lanka, I am pleased to make these preliminary comments at the commencement of the talks between the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE, facilitated by the Royal Norwegian Government and hosted by the Government of Switzerland. At the outset, let me thank all the parties, including the Co-Chairs, who have worked tirelessly to make this event a reality.

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Statement of Sri Lanka delegation at the Conference of Parties to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, delivered by Dr.Lakshmi Somatunga-7 February 2006

Mr. Chairman,

Distinguished delegates

I felicitate you Mr. Chairman and the Bureau on your well-deserved election and assure you of the full cooperation of the Sri Lanka delegation in the  successful conduct of this important conference.

Mr. Chairman,

Sri Lanka participated actively in the negotiation process of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). Consequently, we were the first country in the region and fourth in the world to ratify this first ever public health treaty.  This is indeed a matter of pride for our nation and for our region.

In order to follow up on our ratification, the Sri Lanka Ministry of Health conducted an Inter-ministerial Conference on FCTC Implementation inviting all relevant stakeholders in January, 2004. The objective of this conference was to establish a mechanism for smooth implementation of provisions identified in the FCTC.  Planning for multi-sectoral tobacco control strategies was extremely important, as the health sector alone could not implement a comprehensive tobacco control policy and programme in the country. We have set a firm initiative for collaborative action towards FCTC implementation in Sri Lanka and the Ministry of Health will play the leading role as the focal point, ensuring coordinated action by relevant stakeholders.

We realize that a comprehensive national legislation for tobacco control is needed for implementation of our obligations as a Party to the treaty.   While planning for expansion of the scope of existing legislative measures, the Government is already committed to this cause and a comprehensive Act of Parliament is under preparation. 

While waiting for these legislative measures, we are pleased to inform that  our awareness campaigns and other effective tobacco control strategies have already enabled a reduction of consumption by 4% and there is growing public awareness of the devastating health, social, environmental and economic consequences of tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke. 

Mr. Chairman,

Sri Lanka would like to reiterate its dedication to protect present and future generations from the tobacco epidemic in our country and we do affirm our commitment to the global community by supporting and implementing FCTC provisions to the highest levels. 

Thank you.

 

Statement of Sri Lanka delegation at the 94th (Maritime) session of the International Labour Conference delivered by Mr A R M Abeyratne Banda- 20 February 2006

Mr. Chairman,

The delegation of Sri Lanka extends sincere congratulations to you and the Bureau on your election and assures you of our full cooperation in the successful completion of the Conference.

Historically maritime issues have had a special consideration within ILO, as witnessed by the treatment of these issues at special Maritime sessions.  This session marks a significant step in ILO standard setting activities in this area by the proposed adoption of a single Comprehensive Convention, forward looking, addressing issues of contemporary concern in a practical manner facilitating future updating of technical standards.  ILO’s technical cooperation in the effective implementation of the Convention, if adopted, would be invaluable.

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Statement delivered on behalf of the Asian Group and China by Ambassador Sarala Fernando, Coordinator - at the Commission on International Trade in Goods and Services, and Commodities - 06th February 2006

Mr. Chairman,

On behalf of the Asian Group and China I would like to join previous speakers to congratulate you and other members of the Bureau on your election.  We stand ready to assist you in the challenging task to make this Commission a success.

We also take this opportunity to thank the Secretary General Dr. Supachai Panitchpakdi  for his valuable statement and join in welcoming the new Deputy Secretary General  Mr Dirk J. Bruinsma.  I also thank the UNCTAD secretariat for its pertinent and timely preparation of documents for this meeting, as well as the many activities conducted within the Sao Paulo mandate during the period under review including policy analysis, servicing of the intergovernmental machinery, technical assistance and capacity building.  These documents and out puts contained valuable ideas and recommendations and will assist our deliberations.

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Statement on the Third Round of Negotiations Global System of Trade Preferences Among Developing Countries delivered by Ambassador Sarala Fernando as Chair of the Committee of participants -6 February 2006.

Mr. President, the Secretary-General of UNCTAD, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,

In June 2004, Ministers of member-states of the Agreement on the Global System of Trade Preferences Among Developing Countries, better known as 'GSTP,' met on the occasion of the Eleventh Conference of UNCTAD in Sao Paulo, Brazil and launched the third round of GSTP negotiations.

In the Sao Paulo Declaration launching the round, the Ministers recognized the need for concerted action to harness the enormous potential of the GSTP Agreement in promoting and expanding trade among developing countries. They also reiterated their commitment to promote and sustain mutual trade, and to further economic cooperation through the exchange of concessions within the framework of the Agreement.

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Statement of Sri Lanka delivered by Ambassador Sarala Fernando at the plenary of the Conference on Disarmament -2 February 2006

Mr. President,

Since this is my first intervention under your Presidency, let me take this opportunity to extend our sincere congratulations on your assumption of this important responsibility.  We also join other delegations to request you to convey sincere condolences on behalf of Sri Lanka to the families of those who lost their lives in the tragic accident in Katowice.

Your Presidency offers a unique opportunity since your country Poland has experience and understanding of the aspirations and sensitivities across the regional groups.  Moreover, the Polish Presidency comes at a crucial time.  As you mentioned in your opening statement our current situation is one of serious frustration and quests for alternative approaches to get the CD back to work.  We must also be mindful of the management reforms currently being processed in New York, which will bring new pressures to further reduce the resources allocated to the CD for reasons of the impasse in this body.  During this year, considering what is at stake, all of us in the CD bear a special responsibility to engage, each other and our capitals, using all the creativity, flexibility and political will evoked by many delegations, to assure a healthy continuity of this unique body. 

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Issues Note - Gomi Tharaka Senadhira ,Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the WTO -Chair of the Committee on Trade and Development World Trade Organization (WTO), Geneva - 07th June 2005

* The author is the Permanent representative of Sri Lanka to the WTO. However the views expressed in this paper are personal to the author and should not be necessarily attributed to the Government of Sri Lanka.

1. Political support for the WTO approach to a rule-structured world trade in an environment of growing bilateral and regional trade agreements.

In an environment where growing bilateral and regional trade agreements are increasing rapidly in numbers and significance, prevailing trends indicate, that the political support for the multilateral trading system and the WTO is not adequate enough. Though both Developed and Developing Countries are actively pursuing bilateral and regional arrangements, the major threat to the multilateralism stems from the initiatives undertaken by the Developed Countries, particularly by the two major trading powers.

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