Sri Lanka's Ambassador A.L.A. Azeez Chairs the Social Forum 2018 of the UN Human Rights Council

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The 2018 Social Forum of the United Nations Human Rights Council kicked off today at the United Nations in Geneva, with Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative Ambassador Azeez as the Chairperson-Rapporteur, alongside High Commissioner for Human Rights Madam Michelle Bachelet and Council President Vogislav Suc. This three day Forum will address  the possibilities of further promoting human rights for all and to strengthen universal respect for them, through a thematic focus.

Opening the 2018 Social Forum of UN Human Rights Council today Ambassador Azeez says 'this Forum has served as an inclusive platform for multi-stakeholders & has enabled a deep reflection, among participants, on important themes that could bring out diverse aspects of intersectionality between Human Rights and the society'. 

Addressing the Social Forum further, Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative stated that at a time when every recognized norm and value on which the UN, international order, and multilateralism stand, was being put to test in today's globalized and yet volatile world, the importance of Social Forum, stands enhanced as a bridge-builder and as an enabler of an exchange of diverse perspectives aimed to strengthen and elaborate such norms and values.


Ambassador Azeez Emphasizes the Importance of IP for Sustainable Development

24 09 2018 WIPO

Addressing the 58th Session Series of Meetings of the WIPO General Assemblies today, 24 September 2018, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN in Geneva Ambassador A.L.A. Azeez, stated that WIPO is pivotal to a rule-based global order built on sustainable peace and shared progress and prosperity. Speaking further he said “we should continue to strive together to make this vision a reality. Sri Lanka looks forward to proactively contributing to the effective realization of that vision, ensuring rich dividends of IP for its people”.

Ambassador Azeez stressed the importance of IP for economic development with its potential to uplift the lives of millions. Referring to reconciliation, peace-building and economic development in Sri Lanka, the Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka stressed “the continuation of targeted empowerment efforts, particularly since 2015” has “resulted in more and more innovations enjoying IP protection” while unleashing the potential for innovation among youth and women in all regions of Sri Lanka.


Sri Lanka’s Statement on the Report on Sri Lanka by the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention

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“Sri Lanka’s continuing engagement with the special procedures of the Human Right Council testifies to the priority we attach to open and candid exchanges” said Ambassador A.L.A. Azeez, Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, delivering a Statement on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka at the Human Rights Council today (12th September 2018). Participating representative of the ‘Country Concerned’ in the Clustered Interactive Dialogue with the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention at the 39th Session of the Human Rights Council, emphasized “a number of positive developments have taken place strengthening governance, rule of law and human rights as acknowledged in the report of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention”. The Statement followed the presentation of the Report (A/HRC/39/45/Add.2) on the visit of Working Group on Arbitrary Detention to Sri Lanka from 4th to 15th December 2017.

Full Statement

Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka


12th September 2018

‘A World Free of Cluster Munition’ demands Pragmatism and Dedicated Action by All -says Ambassador Azeez

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"Practical achievement of the target of a world free of cluster munitions demands great dedication, concerted vision and collective initiatives and responses", stated Ambassador A.L.A Azeez, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to UNO in Geneva, at the closing session of the 8th Meeting of the State Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions in Geneva today, in acceptance of the Presidency of the 9th Meeting of the States Parties (9 MSP-2019).

During the three-day meeting that commenced on 3rd September 2018, Sri Lanka was specially commended for joining this key humanitarian disarmament Convention aimed at banning production, storage, transfer and use of cluster munitions. Sri Lanka acceded to the Convention on 1 March 2018, as the 103rd State Party.


Sri Lanka welcomed as State Party to the Cluster Munition Convention

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Addressing the Eighth Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munition today, Ambassador A.L.A Azeez, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka reaffirmed Sri Lanka's commitment to working towards achieving universalisation and to advancement of the objectives of the Convention. The Meeting of States Parties welcomed Sri Lanka as the 103rd State Party, and looked forward to Sri Lanka's leadership in humanitarian disarming.

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The Statement delivered by Ambassador Abdul Azeez

Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to UN in Geneva

03rd September 2018

UNHCR invites Sri Lanka to play an active role in the organization

15 08 2018 meeting with Mr. Filippo Grandi1

Ambassador A.L.A. Azeez, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations in Geneva, met with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Mr. Filippo Grandi, at the UNHCR Headquarters, on 15 August 2018.

Recalling the long-standing, productive partnership between Sri Lanka and the UNHCR, High Commissioner Grandi remarked that at a time when there were many challenges around the world, Sri Lanka stood out as a country, which has achieved significant progress in resettlement of returning refugees and IDPs as well as in addressing issues of statelessness. He invited Sri Lanka to be an important stakeholder in the policy making process of the UNHCR, expressing hope that Sri Lanka’s proactive role would contribute significantly to the work of the UNHCR drawing upon the country’s positive experiences and insights.

Ambassador Azeez expressed appreciation for UNHCR’s engagement in Sri Lanka in the past, highlighting the different forms of assistance and cooperation such a rewarding partnership had entailed. It was recalled that the UNHCR had built on some of its experiences gained in Sri Lanka in further improving delivery of assistance in other situations elsewhere. Through its policy of constructive engagement and dialogue, and advancing peacebuilding and reconciliation, stressed Ambassador Azeez, the Government of Sri Lanka looked forward to furthering cooperation with the UNHCR, in the context of the Global Compact on Refugees.

He also took the opportunity to brief the UNHCR officials on the recent initiatives taken by the GoSL to become a State party to the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention (Ottawa Treaty) following its ongoing successful mine action programme, as well as the Convention on Cluster Munitions (Oslo Treaty), as further expression of Sri Lanka’s commitment to sustainable peace and development.

Sri Lanka Permanent Mission


15 August 2018


Minister of Telecommunication, Digital Infrastructure and Foreign Employment Harin Fernando holds discussions with DG/IOM and SG/ITU

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Minister of Telecommunication, Digital Infrastructure and Foreign Employment, Hon. Harin Fernando, emphasised that the Government of Sri Lanka accorded priority to increasing foreign employment opportunities for Sri Lankans in semi-skilled and skilled categories, with a clear focus on diversification of labour markets. The Minister particularly highlighted the long-term productive contributions made by Sri Lankan labour migrants to the growth of Sri Lanka’s economy.

Minister Harin Fernando made these remarks during a meeting with Ambassador William Lacy Swing, the Director General of International Organization for Migration (IOM) and senior officials of IOM yesterday, 19 July 2018, in Geneva.

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The IOM Director General thanked the Minister for the excellent bilateral cooperation between Sri Lanka and the IOM and conveyed his appreciation for Sri Lanka’s leadership of Abu Dhabi Dialogue (ADD) and its contribution and stewardship in the recent past, of the Colombo Process (CP). Director General Swing stressed that these regional processes as well as other initiatives such as migrant health, migration governance, once they were combined and harnessed into practical and cooperative programmes, could help many countries to leverage migration for development gains. He encouraged Sri Lanka to continue to be active in these areas.  


Sri Lanka announces possibility of holding G.C.E. (O.L) Examination Overseas

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It is learnt that a considerable number of expatriates are working abroad, especially in Middle East countries. The children of these expatriates may be studying at international schools and appearing for foreign examinations, while some students may wish to take G.C.E (O.L) Examination with the prescribed subjects or part thereof. The Department of Examinations, according to its mandate that enable conducting and certifying all public-school examinations, has informed about the possibility to conduct G.C.E (O.L) Examination overseas in the future.

It has further informed that while it could arrange the administration and proceeding relating to the conducting of the G.C.E. (O.L) Examination, the expenses should be borne by the parents/guardians or candidates.

In order to study the feasibility of such an arrangement, the Department of Examinations is requesting to have candidates’ profiles inter alia, country, gender, age, subjects and medium etc.

Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka


6 July 2018

Unveiling of a painting in honour of late Lakshman Kadirgamar

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Unveiling a painting in honour of the late Lakshman Kadirgamar at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Geneva today (21 June), Hon. Liam Fox, the Secretary of State for International Trade of the United Kingdom, said that he hoped the painting would prompt the future generations and the staff of WIPO to learn from the legacy of the late Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka, “who served and will continue to serve as an example to us all”. He made these remarks addressing a gathering of invitees including senior officials of international organizations and diplomats, in commemorating the life of the late Kadirgamar. 

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The painting gifted to WIPO by Mrs. Suganthi Kadirgamar, the late Minister's spouse is one of the masterpieces of renowned Sri Lankan painter Mr. Stanley Kirinde, depicting ‘Guttila the Veena Player’ – a historical poetic narrative of 'intellectual property and copy rights on music'. The ceremony was organized under the patronage of Dr. Francis Gurry, the Director General of WIPO. 


Intersessional Meeting of Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention highlights Sri Lanka’s success

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Addressing the forum on ‘individualized approach’ on the sidelines of the Intersessional Meeting of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention today, Sri Lanka Permanent Representative Ambassador Azeez recounted how Sri Lanka achieved success in what was considered a perilous task in 2009.

Ambassador Azeez highlighted Sri Lanka’s engagement in demining activity as one which had its own complexity and uniqueness. The National Policy on Reconciliation and Co-existence, in place in Sri Lanka since 2017, both underpinned and nourished the ongoing programmes of peacebuilding and development in the country, he stressed.

The Sri Lanka delegation to  the Intersessional Meeting that took place in Geneva from 7-8 June,  was led by P. Suresh, Secretary to the Ministry of Resettlement, Rehabilitation, Northern Development and Hindu Religious Affairs and Director of the National Mine Action Centre. Delivering a national statement at the Intersessional Meeting, he thanked the partner countries and partner organizations for the assistance provided for Sri Lanka Mine Action Programme, which he stated was expected to be completed by 2020.

Statement delivered by Ambassador Azeez

Video by HRH Prince Mired

Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka


8 June 2018

Sri Lanka ready to share expertise with ILO in its efforts in preventing child labour

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'Sustained, inclusive and sustainable growth' could hardly be realized without properly addressing the inequalities in the world of work', stated the Minister of Labour and Trade Union Relations Hon. Ravindra Samaraweera, today, 4th June 2018, speaking at the Plenary Meeting of the 107th Session of the International Labour Conference (ILC) being held in Geneva from 28 May - 9 June 2018.

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Highlighting some of the significant achievements made by Sri Lanka in the field of labour, Minister Samaraweera observed that being the first country in the world to implement a National Decent Work Plan on par with ILO principles, Sri Lanka has also given priority to 'labour rights', through its inclusion in the National Human Rights Action Plan 2017-2021. He added further that Sri Lanka is in the process of introducing a 'single employment law', consolidating disparate laws that currently exist, and giving effect to the principle of non-discrimination. Sri Lanka, the Minister stressed, has also made strides in progress toward eliminating child labour, and promoting the rights of the child, offering to share its expertise in this area to support the endeavours of the ILO. 


Ambassador Azeez meets H.E. Zeid Ra'ad Al-Hussein, High Commissioner for Human Rights

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As part of a series of meetings that Ambassador A.L.A Azeez, Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative, had with Heads of UN and other agencies in Geneva, he called on H.E. Zeid Ra'ad Al-Hussein, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on 18 May 2018. Having warmly received Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative, High Commissioner Zeid Ra'ad Al-Hussein conveyed to Ambassador Azeez his best wishes for the new assignment while appreciating the Government of Sri Lanka for the continuing cooperative engagement with his Office and the Council.

Ambassador Azeez elaborated the various measures taken by the Government of Sri Lanka, especially since 2015, to improve and advance human rights, highlighting areas in which further work was continuing and progress was being made. High Commissioner shared his perspectives on matters of priority interest to both sides and specifically noted the positive contribution of technical assistance in areas on which Sri Lanka required capacity building and other forms of support.

Peacebuilding and reconciliation, protection and promotion of human rights, rule of law and other concerns including developments in the wider region were among the matters discussed.

Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka


30 May 2018

Sri Lanka’s Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne elected as Vice-Chair of WHO Executive Board in Geneva

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Several delegations congratulated Dr. Rajitha Senaratne, Minister of Health, Nutrition, and Indigenous Medicine of Sri Lanka on being elected as a Vice-Chair of the Executive Board (EB) of the World Health Organization (WHO) for a term of one year during the 143rd session of the EB/WHO held in Geneva from 28-29 May 2018. Sri Lanka currently serves as a Member of the Executive Board, elected for a term of three years in May 2017.

Members of the South East Asia Region (SEAR) unanimously nominated Dr. Rajitha Senaratne to the post of Vice-Chair from SEAR.

Dr. Senaratne thanking the Executive Board on his election, emphasized the necessity of learning from the experiences of peers, while sharing Sri Lanka’s experiences with them towards achieving Universal Health Coverage, a goal agreed in the UN Development Agenda 2030.

During his participation of the 71st session of the World Health Assembly (WHA71) and the 143rd session of the Executive Board meeting (EB143) of the WHO, Sri Lanka received special compliments as a country which has taken progressive measures towards realization of SDG 3-Universal Health Coverage and launched bold initiatives on control of NCDs and access to affordable medicines.

Minister Senaratne had been invited to address the Panel Discussion – ‘Saving lives, Spending less: A Strategic Response to Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)’ jointly organized by the WHO and the WHO Goodwill Ambassador for NCDs Mr. Michael Bloomberg, on the sidelines of WHA71 in recognition of Sri Lanka’s achievements in the health care sector under his stewardship.

Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka


30 May 2018

ICRC commends the positive post-conflict developments in Sri Lanka

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The Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations in Geneva met with President of the ICRC Mr. Peter Maurer at the ICRC Headquarters today. Referring to various measures taken by the Government of Sri Lanka to address humanitarian aspects involved in peacebuilding and reconciliation, Mr. Maurer noted the recent progress achieved in establishing and operationalizing the Office of Missing Persons (OMP).

Ambassador Azeez conveyed the appreciation of the Government of Sri Lanka for technical assistance provided by the ICRC particularly at the preparatory stages of work relating to draft policy and legal framework and structure of OMP.

Mr. Peter Maurer commended Sri Lanka for becoming a State party to the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention (Ottawa Treaty) and the Convention on Cluster Munitions (Oslo Treaty), which he noted “sent a positive signal regarding the range of commitments that Sri Lanka has undertaken in humanitarian disarmament”.

Ambassador Azeez said Sri Lanka looked forward to further cooperation with the ICRC on technical expertise and capacity building in areas of shared priority.

Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka


23 May 2018

Minister Sarath Amunugama participates in the high level discussions at the 21st Session of the Commission on Science and Technology for Development

“Developing strategies to meet the emerging and disruptive technologies so as to become competitive regionally and globally is an important priority for Sri Lanka”, stated the Minister of Science, Technology and Research, Skills Development and Vocational Training and Kandyan Heritage Dr. Sarath Amunugama, participating at the 21st Session of the Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) held in Geneva from 14-18 May 2018.

Addressing the high level round table on “impact of rapid technological change on the achievement of sustainable development goals”, the Minister elaborated the various challenges faced by developing countries, which hindered the positive impact of rapid technological changes in achieving sustainable development goals. He underlined the need for comprehensive studies on hazards as well as on the negative impact of new and emerging technologies on industries, and stressed the importance of leveraging technologies that had the potential for increased market share and competitiveness.


Sri Lanka discusses further collaboration with CERN

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“The ongoing Sri Lanka-CERN cooperation could be further enhanced by involving other technical universities including in the engineering and information technology fields in the coming years”, said Minister of Science, Technology and Research, Skills Development and Vocational Training and Kandyan Heritage Dr. Sarath Amunugama at a discussion held with Ms. Charlotte Warakaulle, Director for International Relations, European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, during his visit to the CERN on 15 May 2018. Sri Lanka – CERN partnership has recorded considerable increase in the participation of doctoral candidates and physicists in critical particle physics experiments of CERN.

While commending CERN for enhanced cooperation with Sri Lanka during the past few years, the Minister emphasized the importance of the involvement of undergraduates, PhD candidates as well as scientists in CERN experiments. Ms. Warakaulle stated that such exposures would provide an important opportunity to bring back to Sri Lanka not only the much needed knowledge on particle physics but also useful insights in the latest advancements in high technology. Access to data generated in the experiments, would be extremely useful for universities to broaden their research capacities as well as for potential use in industries, she stressed. 

It was agreed that collaboration would continue in the form of training for Sri Lankan physicists and students in CERN experiments as well as in various other CERN programmes such as the prestigious ‘Summer Student Programme’, paving the way for building the critical mass of scientific expertise in Sri Lanka in the field of high energy particle physics.


Recent Decisions in the CD, a consolation to fill gaps in substantive work, says Ambassador Azeez

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Delivering his initial address to the Conference of Disarmament (CD) of the United Nations, Ambassador Azeez stated that the inaction in the CD over the past twenty years has only led to the loss of a generation of professionals and experts in the field of Disarmament. He stressed “the gap in Disarmament Education is now all too glaring".

Thanking Sweden and Switzerland for giving leadership to the CD at this most crucial time, followed by Sri Lanka early this year, the Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka added that negotiations in the CD, by their very nature, involved addressing challenging issues, exchange of perspectives, and understanding.

The essential task of that process remained as one of endeavouring to achieve consensus outcomes. The eventual goal of general and complete disarmament underpinned the fulfilment of that task, he emphasised.

Full statement

Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka


22 May 2018

Inter – agency cooperation vital to ensure labour migration benefits to Developing Countries. Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative

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UN Agencies working together on cross-cutting issues such as labour and migration is vital to ensuring that benefits of such collaborative enterprises percolate to the countries in need, stated Ambassador A.L.A. Azeez, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to United Nations in Geneva, during a meeting he had with Mr. Guy Rider, Director-General of the International Labour Organisation (ILO). He expressed the view that in each area where there is expertise available in one or more Agencies, it was important to develop ‘networking’ with the facilitation of a convener, to enable cross-fertilisation of ideas, and to improve internal cohesion across the UN system.

Acknowledging the need to break silos, DG Rider stated that the UN has undertaken a system-wide strategic plan to reform the UN Development Pillar and that it would be aligned in support of the 2030 Agenda and SDGs.

Ambassador Azeez, recalling Sri Lanka’s active engagement in enhancing and promoting the rights and welfare of the labour migrants in the Asia – GCC Corridor as the current Chair of the Abu-Dhabi Dialogue (ADD), stated that Sri Lanka would be hosting an intersessional meeting in Colombo in May 2018, where the issues being discussed would be in line with the ILO’s Decent Work Framework.


Sri Lanka a major player in Migration Health says Director General of IOM

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Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations in Geneva, Ambassador  A.L.A Azeez, called on the Director General of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) Ambassador William Lacy Swing. The IOM Chief commended Sri Lanka’s prominent role in promoting the Agenda on Migration Health, including by co-hosting the 2nd Global Consultation on Migration Health in Colombo in February 2017. The DG appreciated the statement delivered on behalf of the Hon. Minister of Health, at the recently held International Dialogue on Migration (IDM) in New York, which acknowledged the significant role that IOM was playing in advancing the SDGs.

Highlighting IOM’s enhanced collaboration with the Government of Sri Lanka, with the undertaking of varied programmes such as post-arrival migration health, border management strategy, and support for Sri Lanka migrants abroad, Ambassador Lacy expressed satisfaction at the current level of engagement which he referred to as having “grown exponentially in the past few years”. He further complemented Sri Lanka’s Chairmanship of the Abu Dhabi Dialogue (ADD) and its long held leadership to the Colombo Process (CP), calling it “one of the most vibrant Regional Consultative Processes (RCP) of IOM”.


Sri Lanka has made considerable strides in the IT sector says Secretary-General of ITU

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Welcoming Ambassador A.L.A. Azeez, the Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka in his office, Mr. Houlin Zhao, the Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) recalled his previous visits to the “beautiful country”, long before he became the ITU Secretary-General. Referring to higher social indicators that Sri Lanka has achieved including in literacy, he complimented Sri Lanka for making considerable strides in the IT Sector. It was satisfying that Sri Lanka has been placed as an important hub in regional trade and economic networks, he said.

Ambassador Azeez apprised the Secretary-General on the policy initiatives by the Government to integrate ITU as a key element in its national endeavours to realize SDGs in Sri Lanka. He stressed that through the effective implementation of SDGs, supported by advances in IT, the Government of Sri Lanka has envisioned to enhance economic and development gains for all peoples. In this context he explained the policy initiatives taken by Sri Lanka to bring ICT into ‘Sri Lanka Sustainability Strategy 2030’ which is being finalized. He also recalled the ratification by the Government of Sri Lanka of the Budapest Convention on Cyber Crimes, which demonstrated Sri Lanka’s proactive involvement in promoting ICT within the country and abroad.

Ambassador Azeez expressed Sri Lanka’s full support and cooperation in making ICT a central element in the SDGs as ITU moved forward with implementation of the UN Development Agenda. He assured the Secretary-General that ITU’s efforts in forging greater partnership among Member States leading to a successful review of implementation of the UN Development Agenda in 2020,- five years after its adoption, would help further enhance ITU’s role and standing in the International Development Community.

Sri Lanka Permanent Mission 


21 May 2018

Statement by Sri Lanka at the 28th Special Session of the Human Rights Council on the Deteriorating Human Rights Situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory

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Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Sri Lanka Ambassador A.L.A. Azeez, delivering a Statement on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka at the 28th Special Session of the Human Rights Council today, 18 May 2018, emphasized that the security of all civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) should receive the utmost consideration and that their human rights should be upheld and protected at all times. 

He further stressed "Diplomacy and political leadership still have immense potential to carry dialogue through to success if pursued diligently, having regard to the fundamentals of a Two State solution". 

Full Statement , Sinhala, Tamil


Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka
18 May 2018   

The myth of inferiority attributed to women over centuries must be dispelled, Sri Lanka urges the UN Expert Forum in Geneva

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Addressing experts, Governments, and other participants at the Intersessional Expert Meeting on the full enjoyment of human rights by all women and girls and the systematic mainstreaming of gender perspective into the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, Ambassador A.L.A. Azeez, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations in Geneva stated “It is incumbent on all stakeholders to strive to create a culture of respect for equality and non-discrimination and to work towards dispelling the myth of inferiority attributed to women over centuries”. He called for all stakeholders to work together to ensure a dignified life and a better future for all women and girls.

The Intersessional Expert Meeting began its two day session in Geneva today, with the opening remarks of Ms. Kate Gilmore, Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, followed by presentations by experts representing different UN agencies and an interactive dialogue.

Carefully thought-through and targeted approaches geared to empowering women”, Ambassador Azeez stated, were “imperative for the effective advancement of development goals in national and international programmes.”

He emphasized that ensuring access to quality health services and quality education would significantly improve life chances and better employment opportunities for women and girls. “Such empowered women and girls can bring transformational improvements in the health and prosperity of families, communities, societies and nations they live in”, he remarked.

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Sharing the experiences of Sri Lanka in recent times, he outlined the measures taken by the Government to address challenges faced by women, such as the adoption of a National Action Plan for prevention of gender based violence (GBV) and the National Human Rights Action Plan (2017-2021) as well as the enactment of legislation aimed at increasing women representation in local governing authorities.

Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative reiterated that achieving gender equality was not just an issue of women and girls, and that it went way beyond, calling for the active involvement of all stakeholders.

Full Statement

Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka


2 May 2018

UNCTAD Secretary General Compliments Sri Lanka for its Positive Role

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Ambassador A.L.A. Azeez, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations in Geneva met with the Secretary General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi at UNCTAD headquarters, on 30th April 2018. UNCTAD Secretary General appreciated Sri Lanka for the active role played and the productive contribution made towards the effective operationalization of the organization in its establishment phase as well as for the continued support and cooperation extended in the implementation of UNCTAD’s agenda and programmes.

Ambassador Azeez took the opportunity to reaffirm Sri Lanka's commitment to the work undertaken by UNCTAD, in particular towards facilitating and strengthening developing countries’ integration into the globalized economy and their implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. He assured the UNCTAD Secretary General that Sri Lanka would further enhance its partnership and would proactively contribute to the ongoing activities of UNCTAD.

Having highlighted Sri Lanka’s continuing cooperation with UNCTAD on a number of prioroty areas such as Investment, Electronic Commerce, Science and Technology and Commodity Development, among others, Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative projected Sri Lanka as an important venue for hosting multilateral and regional activities of UNCTAD in the future.

UNCTAD is a permanent intergovernmental body established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1964. Its primary mandate is to provide a forum to deal with issues relating to trade, investment, and development affecting progress and prospects for development of developing countries. UNCTAD, pursuant to this mandate, extends assistance to developing countries in their efforts to effectively integrate into the world economy on an equitable basis.

Sri Lanka Permanent Mission


1st May 2018

Sri Lanka says ‘In Development Dialogue, Addressing poverty and other constraints in imperative’.


While individual States have the primary responsibility for national development, the need for further collective efforts and collaboration, between States and between numerous stakeholders, in addressing poverty, disasters, conflicts and health hazards are imperative, Sri Lanka said on 23rd April 2018, addressing the General Debate of the 19th Session of the Working Group on Right to Development (RtD). Sri Lanka’s Delegate Minister Counsellor of the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka in Geneva Ms. Shashika Somaratne, while taking note of the progress made so far by the Working Group, reiterated the call for finalizing as a matter of urgency, the criteria and the operational sub-criteria, which are being under negotiation since 2010. In this context, she drew attention to the proposal by the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), on a set of standards regarding the implementation of the Right to Development and the non-paper aimed at finalizing the consideration of the criteria and sub-criteria with a view, to facilitate the process.  

In this context she further said that in Sri Lanka, the Government through its “Vision 2025 : A Country Enriched” policy document, has now launched a comprehensive framework to alleviate poverty, address regional disparities within the country, and promote prosperity to all its people, with a view to ensuring the holistic realization of Human Rights while implementing the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. In addition, the Sustainable Development Act has been enacted by the Parliament in October 2017, and Sri Lanka will share its experience during the June 2018 High Level Political Forum (HLPF) of the ECOSOC in New York, by submitting its National Voluntary Review (NVR), on “Transformation towards Sustainable Resilient Societies”.

Full Statement

Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to UN in Geneva

24th April 2018

Sri Lanka says Securing a World free of Nuclear Weapons foremost priority

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“Building a better and secure future for all is a shared call that we can shirk only at our own peril”, stated Ambassador A.L.A.Azeez, Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, addressing the Second Preparatory Committee Meeting of State Parties to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) today.

Ambassador Azeez highlighted the importance of the NPT as the global regime for nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament that called for a balanced and non-discriminatory approach to building international peace and security. He stressed that the non-proliferation treaty regime should be taken forward, while promoting and safe guarding the economic development prospects for all, through equal access to the technology advancing peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

He also called upon the State Parties to seriously address the prevalent dichotomy between the lack of progress in disarmament and increasing emphasis and efforts on non-proliferation, urging them to “manifest their support for, and investment in, disarmament training and education provided by the UN and other organizations” .

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The Second Preparatory Meeting that began its deliberations on 23rd April 2018 in Geneva would continue until 4th May 2018 and is aimed to help evolve a negotiated outcome at the NPT Review Conference to be held in New York in April/May 2020.

Full Statement 


Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to UN in Geneva

24th April 2018

Ambassador Azeez says positive spirit generated in the CD can be carried through to the NPT discussions

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The window of opportunity that was opened up, and the positive spirit generated in moving forward the substantive work in the Conference of Disarmament (CD) with the adoption of Decision 2119 under the Presidency of Sri Lanka, ’can be carried through to creatively looking at ways and means of arriving at a negotiated outcome at the 2020 NPT Review Conference,’ said Ambassador A.L.A. Azeez, Permanent Representative of  Sri Lanka in Geneva. He made these remarks chairing a panel session titled Reviving the NPT and Conference on Disarmament: Means and Processes to Ensure Success’ at the Framework Forum Roundtable, co-organized in Geneva on 19th April 2018, by the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP) and several other organizations.

Echoing the words of the UN Secretary General who stated that “it is time to translate the Decision into resumption of negotiations”, Ambassador Azeez added “this development has come up at a critical time when there is growing impatience among the non-proliferation and disarmament community over the long spell of ‘inaction’, spanning over two decades”.

Noting that the second round of consultations of the parties to the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, are to commence next week in Geneva, to prepare for the NPT review in 2020, Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative remarked “While non-proliferation should receive a clear focus along with a pronounced emphasis on peaceful use of nuclear energy, the advancement of these objectives would be effective and meaningful when sustained efforts towards the eventual elimination of nuclear weapons follow in tandem”. He said “it was time to be imaginative, yet pragmatic”.

Mr. Sico van der Meer, Clingendal Institute, the Netherlands, and Ms. Tarja Cronberg, Chair,Middle Powers Initiative, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute(SIPRI), joined this panel as speakers addressed ‘How to make the NPT RevCom in 2020 a success?’ and ‘Long term reform needs for the NPT survival?’ respectively.

Full Statement

Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka


20 April 2018

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