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.


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.


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,


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.


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.


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.


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.


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. 


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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