Side event on 'Hepatoprotective activity of Mercury containing Lokanatharasa with special reference to Hepatocellular carcinoma' at the Minamata COP 5, 02 November 2023

Minamata collage


Ministry of Environment organized side event on 'Hepatoprotective activity of Mercury containing Lokanatharasa with special reference to Hepatocellular carcinoma' was held during  the Fifth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury (COP-5) on 2 Nov 2023 in Geneva. Prof. Sujeewa Harapathdeniya of Institute of Indigenous Medicine joining virtually made a presentation based on research conducted in SriLanka with United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and Swiss government assistance. 

Developing countries are the worst affected by rising emissions from the industrialized world, and must be compensated – President Ranil Wickremesinghe emphasizes at COP 27

7 11 2022 president wickremesinghe cop 27 cairo Egypt
President Ranil Wickremesinghe addressing the COP 27 Climate Change Conference in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt said that unbridled industrialization of the developed countries is the root cause of climate change, leaving the poor to suffer the consequences. He said that the problems facing poor countries are augmented due to the absence of adequate funding.

As a result, these countries are facing double jeopardy – struggling to develop economically while fighting to protect the living standards of their populations.

Therefore, President Wickremesinghe said that the developed countries must deliver on their pledge in Glasgow – by doubling their funding to compensate the developing countries for loss and damage.


Risk-sensitive economic planning critical for post-disaster revival

17 05 2019 UNDRR

Risk-sensitive economic planning and coherence between climate and disaster risk reduction (DRR) policies are vital in building resilient societies and economies as envisioned by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, Ambassador A.L.A. Azeez stated. He made these remarks addressing the Sixth Global Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction held in Geneva from 13 to 17 May 2019.

Sri Lanka is taking a number of initiatives towards this end, he added, highlighting national measures to establish an online damage and loss assessment system for all sectors in line with international standards, a Climate-Resilient Integrated Water Management Project aimed at strengthening the resilience of vulnerable smallholder farmers in the dry zone, and a Climate Resilience Improvement Project focused on building a more climate-resilient economy.  

“In Sri Lanka, national strategies for disaster risk reduction have been formulated for the period of 2019-2030 and the National Policy on Disaster Risk Management has been updated to enable risk-informed implementation and monitoring of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, the UN Urban Agenda and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.”

“Among specific measures taken or being taken are the introduction of an insurance scheme against natural disasters for all houses and Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs), National Building Codes for disaster-resilient construction, guidelines to mainstream disaster risk reduction, and mainstreaming DRR into the education sector,” he stated.


The Secretary-General’s statement on the postponement of CoP18

26 04 2019 CITES

The Secretariat regrets to announce that the 18th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP18), originally scheduled to take place from 23 May to 3 June in Colombo, Sri Lanka, as well as the associated 71st and 72nd meetings of the Standing Committee, are being postponed. This decision has been taken out of respect for the victims of the recent attacks and the recognition by the Standing Committee, the Secretariat and the United Nations Department of Safety and Security of the time needed for the Government of Sri Lanka to address the current situation in the country.

We are fully committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of all delegates. The Secretariat is monitoring the situation closely in consultation with the Sri Lankan authorities and the United Nations Department of Safety and Security. The Conference of the Parties has chosen Sri Lanka as next host Party and we are deeply grateful for the efforts Sri Lanka has made thus far as host.  The Secretariat will be working with Sri Lanka to try and honour this choice in consultation with the UN Department of Safety and Security and the CITES Standing Committee.

Our support and solidarity remain with the people of Sri Lanka and all of those who have suffered losses from these tragic events.

We will make further information about CoP18 available as soon as possible. Meanwhile, the Secretariat continues to work on advancing the many substantive issues as mandated by the Conference of the Parties.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Ivonne Higuero
26 April 2019

Studying health effects of micro-plastics will be a catalyst in efforts to save our oceans

03 04 2019 image

“A study of the health effects of marine plastic pollution and micro-plastics is important for strengthening national and global initiatives to combat plastic pollution of our oceans”, stressed Ambassador A.L.A. Azeez, Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative in Geneva, addressing an interactive Panel Discussion held at the Graduate Institute of Geneva as part of the Geneva Sustainability Week.

At the interactive Panel Discussion ‘Our Plastic Future: Can the Oceans Survive?’ where a number of participants actively engaged, Ambassador Azeez elaborated Sri Lanka’s efforts and commitment towards achieving effective and non-discriminatory global environmental governance, highlighting further the measures taken by Sri Lanka in this context, including at the recently concluded Fourth Session of the United Nations Environment Assembly in Nairobi.

“Sri Lanka’s strategic path for sustainability 2030 has, as its central focus, environmentally sound development activities, complemented by international assistance including technical assistance and sharing of know-how”, he added.

Ambassador Azeez also highlighted the constructive role and contribution that Sri Lanka has made, over decades, to matters of multilateral concern impacting the nature and the environment, referring specifically to the leadership given by Sri Lanka in areas such as the Law of the Sea and innovative initiatives taken in relation to biodiversity, transboundary movement of hazardous waste and trade in endangered species.


“The environment is an enduring aspect of Sri Lanka’s national development”

09 03 2019 CITES

Addressing the 2019 World Wildlife Day celebration in Geneva held under the theme ‘Life Below Water: For People and Planet’, Ambassador Azeez said that, in this context, Sri Lanka was proud and honoured to be the host of the 18th Meeting of the Conference of Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), in Colombo, from 23 May to 3 June this year.

“We are pleased to note that the Conference has received a record number of working documents and species-listing proposals, making it the largest Conference of Parties in the history of CITES to date. Interestingly, it is the mako shark, wedgefish, and guitarfish proposals submitted for the CoP18 that have received major support from Parties to the CITES. .Sri Lanka is proud to cosponsor all 3 of these proposals at the upcoming Conference, which will also be conducted in a carbon-sensitive manner”, he said.


Sri Lanka to host COP18 of CITES in Colombo from 23 May to 3rd June 2019

14 02 2019 CITES

Sri Lanka is readying itself for the hosting of COP 18 of CITES in Colombo 2019. Known as World Wildlife Conference, the 18th Meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP18) to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, attracts 183 parties (182 States + European Union) with the participation of up to 4500 to 5000 delegates & stakeholders.

In continuing demonstration of its consistent national commitment to the protection of the Environment and wild fauna and flora, as well as advancing progress in the Sustainable Development Goals to 2030, Sri Lanka is proud to host this major global conference in the Colombo, from 23 May – 3 June 2019.

The Ministry of Tourism Development, Wildlife and Christian Religious Affairs, along with Presidential Secretariat, Ministry of Foreign Affairs & the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka in Geneva, has been making Conference related arrangements as well as substantive preparations for the CITES COP 18, fully assisted by the CITES Secretariat in Geneva.

Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka


14th February 2019

Sri Lanka announces dates for the 18th Meeting of Conference of Parties to the CITES to be held in the Colombo in 2019

03 12 2017 cites3

The Government of Sri Lanka has announced the dates for the 18th Meeting of the Conference of Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), to be attended by 183 State Parties, and held from 22nd May - 3rd June 2019 at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH) in Colombo.

Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha who made the announcement addressing the 69th Standing Committee of CITES meeting, said as a country with rich biological diversity, Sri Lanka is fully committed to the implementation of the CITES provisions to ensure sustainable trade that takes into account the conservation of wild fauna and flora essential for a healthy and prosperous economy. He further drew attention to the recent actions taken by Sri Lanka in fulfilling its commitment under the Convention, including the seizure of illegally traded blood ivory, which was publicly destroyed in 2016, as well as the initiatives taken to list thresher shark  species under CITES Appendix II as a protected species. The offer to host the Conference was made as Sri Lanka is mindful of the challenges that remain to be overcome at national and international levels, the Ambassador added.


Sri Lanka to strengthen collaboration with the World Meteorological Organization

20 11 2017 wmo

Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Mr. Petteri Taalas, has assured to collaborate with Sri Lanka in strengthening Meteorological Services for forecasting purposes, which would be more cost effective and could help avoid calamities caused by changes in weather patterns. He said the WMO was in a process of finding more resources to assist developing countries, and that greater opportunities will be provided to Sri Lanka for capacity building and technological upgrading.

The Secretary General made these comments when he met Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha recently at the WMO headquarters in Geneva. Associated with the Ambassador were visiting senior officials of the Department of Meteorology of Sri Lanka - Mr. D. A. Jayasinghearachchi, Director, Mr. A. K. Karunanayake, Director and Ms. C. G. Premachandra, Meteorologist.


Minister Premajayantha calls for cross–border cooperation to finance e –waste management in the developing countries

11 05 2017 GROUPPHOTO

Minister Susil Premajayantha, Minister of Science, Technology and Research of Sri Lanka has emphasized  the importance of setting up cross –border cooperation among  manufacturing  and consuming countries, and in this regard, called for establishing  a ‘Global Fund’, with the support of manufactures and voluntary contributors, through which e-waste management in those end-user countries  be financed sustainably. He noted that financing e –waste management solely through imposing taxes at the importers level (upstream)  or consumers level (downstream) could have  negative effects on the access to technology by citizens in developing countries. He also called for increased awareness raising efforts among the public on  sustainable waste management. 



'CITES and wildlife trade – how CITES works and how it links to wildlife tourism’

CITES Secretary-General's keynote address on Wildlife and Tourism at Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Good morning and thank you to our colleagues from Sri Lanka Tourism for organizing today’s Public Seminar and for giving me the opportunity to address you.

In particular, I would like to thank and to recognize the Hon. John Amaratunga, Minister of Tourism Development and Christian Affairs, the Hon. Gamini  Jayawickrema  Perera, Minister for Sustainable Development and Wildlife and their staff.

Questions of how CITES works what CITES is, and is not, are frequently raised by the media and members of the general public and it is a great topic for today’s event.

In the time available, I will touch upon some of the issues that arise most often, and in particular, I will spend some time focusing on wildlife based tourism, which was profiled at a recent World Bank event, and law enforcement, as it is a topic that generates a lot of discussion.

Read More :


Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka




Sri Lanka expresses commitment to protect endangered wildlife species

22 jan 2016 cites p1

Minister of Sustainable Development and Wildlife, Mr. Gamini Jayawickrama Perera has re-iterated Sri Lanka's commitment to protect endangered wildlife species. He said consistent with this policy, the Government had decided to destroy a confiscated blood ivory shipment on 26th January 2016 at the Galle Face Green in Colombo. The consignment consists of 359 pieces of blood ivory, equalling 1.5 tonnes.

The Minister made these remarks during his meeting with the Secretary – General of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Mr. John E. Scanlon, on the side-lines of the 66th Standing Committee meeting of CITES held in Geneva last week. Since ratification of the CITES Convention in 1979, this is the first time Sri Lanka has been represented at a Ministerial level at any meeting of this important global convention. Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha, Second Secretary of the Permanent Mission in Geneva Mrs. M.L.F. Mafusa, and Advisor to Minister Mr. Daniel Fernando were associated with the Minister.


Minister Amaratunga urges International Community to increase global cooperation in disaster manangement with developing countries

john amaratunage 15march2015

Minister of Public Order, Disaster Management & Christian Affairs John Amaratunga led the Sri Lankan delegation to the Third UN Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction held 14 – 18 March 2015 in Sendai, Japan.

In his statement the Minister highlighting the common but differentiated principle at all levels of disaster risk reduction said Sri Lanka earnestly urges the international community to increase global cooperation and partnership with a view to transfer technological know-how, financial assistance and capacity building particularly for developing countries.


Sri Lanka completes development of risk profiles for major natural hazards, and landslide and drought hazard assessments

Sri Lanka has successfully undertaken the development of risk profiles for major natural hazards, and landslide and drought hazard assessments have already been completed. Hazard profiles of Coastal Hazards, Cyclones and Floods will be completed by the end of the year. The Ministry of Disaster Management has taken a number of other initiatives to mainstream disaster risk reduction into development sectors such as housing, road development, health, education etc.

Sri Lanka’s  Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva,  Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha made this observation at the Discussion on the "Post-2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction" during the First Preparatory Committee for the Third United Nations World conference on Disaster Risk Reduction which took place in Geneva on 15 July 2014.



Minister of Environment attends the High Level Segment of the Basel, Rott. & S'holm Conventions

Participating in the High Level Segment of the ordinary and simultaneous extraordinary meetings of the Conferences of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions held on 9 - 10 May 2013 in Geneva, Minister of Environment and Renewable Energy Minister Susil Premajayantha has emphasized the necessity for international cooperation involving both developed and developing nations, to address the problems related to the management of man-made harmful chemicals in the environment. He also elaborated on the future activities planned in Sri Lanka to comply with the three conventions.


Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe addresses the World Climate Conference in Geneva

Hon. Mahinda Samarasinghe addressing the WCC-3 sep2009

Minister of Disaster Management and Human Rights Mr. Mahinda Samarasinghe addressed the High Level Segment of the World Climate Conference-3 which is being held in Geneva, delivering a policy statement on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka. The week-long conference, which began on 31 August, will conclude its deliberations on Friday 4 September with a High Level Declaration which was also adopted by consensus today.


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