Ambassador Azeez chairs a panel discussion on debt securitization of development finance

09 12 2019 UNCTAD

Ambassador A.L. Abdul Azeez, Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Office at Geneva recently chaired a panel at the Debt Management Conference organized by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). This conference, which is organized every two years by the UNCTAD provides a regular forum for sharing experiences and exchanging views between Governments, international organizations, academia, the private sector, and civil society on current issues in public finance, debt management and the debt crisis prevention.

This year’s Debt Management Conference brought together senior-level national and international debt managers and experts from around the world to discuss some of the most pertinent topics in both external and domestic debt, debt management and public finance.


Sri Lanka awarded as “A place of charm that works towards the future” at IVIAGGIATORI in Switzerland in November 2019

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The Permanent Missions of Sri Lanka to the UN and WTO in Geneva, in collaboration with Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, organized Sri Lanka’s participation at the Swiss International Holiday Exhibition for the second consecutive year, successfully from 1st to 3rd November 2019.

The Sri Lanka Pavilion at the Swiss International Holiday Exhibition was inaugurated on 1st November 2019 in the presence of Ambassador (Mrs) Gothami Silva, the Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Mr. Marco Peon, the Chief Organizer of the Exhibition and other dignitaries.

The Swiss International Holiday Exhibition, also known as IVIAGGIATORI, is the prestigious tourism event in the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland, which belongs to the network of the most important European tourism fairs. Leading to a perfect trip around the world, through places, peoples and cultures, IVIAGGIATORI is recognised as an ideal event for travellers and people working in the tourism industry. Every year, it showcases the most fascinating destinations and the best facilities in five continents, including services provided by international tour operators and different packages of tourism.

Sri Lanka Pavilion was a major highlight at this year’s Exhibition. Under the patronage of Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, eight (08) companies from tourism industry took part this year. Sri Lankan traditional cultural performances and Ceylon Tea serving counter attracted more visitors to the Sri Lanka Pavilion. Through the bilateral meetings the industry representatives had with the visitors, a significant number of successful client contacts had been secured. IVIAGGIATORI being a consumer tourism fair, the industry representatives were highly impressed with the number of direct contacts they could build up during the Exhibition and encouraged to have Sri Lanka’s continuous participation at this Exhibition.

With more than 200 stands representing over 30 countries, institutional seminars and thematic events, the 2019 edition of the Swiss International Holiday Exhibition attracted diverse categories of visitors, including families, young couples, singles, students, pensioners, etc. both from Switzerland, as well as from neighbouring Italian regions.


Sri Lanka will emerge stronger as a vibrant society and robust economy – Ambassador Azeez

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Being the first UN meeting to take place under Sri Lanka’s presidency following the Easter Sunday terrorist attacks, the meeting provided a platform for UN officials, experts and delegates to express their strong condemnation of the dastardly attacks and to assure sympathy and support for Sri Lanka.

Addressing the opening session of the meeting, UNCTAD Deputy Secretary General Isabelle Durant, followed by many delegations, expressed their solidarity with the people of Sri Lanka against the heinous acts which led to the loss of hundreds of innocent lives and injury to many. The Deputy Secretary General assured support for Sri Lanka, within the competence of UNCTAD, to help national efforts in re-establishing the resilience of Sri Lanka's trade and economic sectors including tourism.


UNCTAD's Commission concludes on a confident note under Sri Lanka's Chairmanship

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“Sri Lanka and other developing countries consider the work of UNCTAD critically important for capacity building and other forms of technical assistance in all areas of trade interest impacting the achievement of 2030 SDG Agenda”, stated Ambassador A.L.A. Azeez, the Chairperson of the UNCTAD Trade and Development Commission concluding its 10th Session. 

Highlighting the importance of UNCTAD as a forum that advances a multi-pronged strategy addressing trade and development concerns and priorities of developing nations with the cooperation and support of developed countries, Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva called for further strengthening of UNCTAD and its varied programmes.  

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The Trade and Development Commission which commenced its deliberations on 12th November 2018  at its 10th session, ended on a confident note under Sri Lanka’s stewardship, adopting a set of Agreed Conclusions for its future focus, at a time when the multilateral trading system is under increasing strain. 

A number of international and regional groups including the Group of 77, the European Union, JUSCANZ (Japan, US, Canada and New Zealand Group), and the African Union contributed to the Commission’s deliberations.

Agreed Conclusion

UNCTAD Press Release

UNCTAD Twitter Message

Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka


16th November 2018

Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative in Geneva Ambassador A.L.A. Azeez elected the Chairperson of the 10th Session of the UNCTAD Trade and Development Commission

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"We need to look at how best multilateralism can be advanced and strengthened rather than at theories that suggest a ‘doomsday’ scenario or the ‘dawn of an era of post-multilateralism", said Ambassador A.L.A. Azeez, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to UNO in Geneva. He made these remarks following his election by acclamation as the Chairperson of the 10th Session of the UNCTAD Trade and Development Commission today. Addressing the opening session, he stated “UNCTAD is an innovative platform where both theories and practices are analysed and pathways and options identified, to help guide nations in their search for solutions to trade and development constraints and challenges”.

The newly elected Chairperson of the UNCTAD Trade and Development Commission stressed that Member States needed to look ahead and bring out aspects of Stratergeis, during the week-long deliberations in the Commission, that could help countries achieve progress in SDGs, with a particular emphasis on making trade and development a critical enabler of the realization of the aspirations of people everywhere, for peace and prosperity.

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Ambassador Azeez paid a courtesy call on UNCTAD Secretary General

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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

BOI represents Sri Lanka at the World Investment Forum 2014

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Hon. Lakshman Yapa Abeywardhana highlights the importance of private sector engagement in achieving Sustainable Development Goals 
Hon. Lakshman Yapa Abeywardhana, Minister of Investment Promotion led Sri Lanka delegation to the World Investment Forum 2014(WIF), held in Geneva from 13-16th October 2014. 
The Hon. Minister addressed the High Level Ministerial Round Table held on 16th October, as part of the World Investment Forum 2014.  The event gathered over thirty Ministers from many countries across the world as well as heads of International Organizations to debate the need of the private sector to be a vital partner to public sector efforts in achieving sustainable development goals(SGDs).


G-15 urged UNCTAD to concentrate on advancing New and Pragmatic Policy Responses in addressing Multi-Faceted Challenges in Developing Countries

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Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha, Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva and Chairman of the Personal Representatives of the Group of Fifteen (G-15), has urged member countries not to be deterred by the sluggish and slow recovering global economy and to identify and implement initiatives to address pressing concerns on trade and development. He said “Trade and development are important ingredients in international affairs and must be addressed collectively, as UNCTAD continues to advance independent thinking and discussions on the interplay of international trade, economic growth and development”. 
Ambassador Aryasinha made these observations when he delivered a Joint Statement at 61st Session of UNCTAD’s Trade and Development Board on 15 September 2014 in Geneva, on behalf of G-15, a Summit Level Group of Developing Countries comprising 17 member States - Algeria, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Jamaica, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Venezuela and Zimbabwe. 


G-15 calls for fresh impetus for early conclusion of the DDA with a “development” -oriented outcome

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The G-15, a Summit level Group of 17 developing countries currently chaired by Sri Lanka, in a Joint Statement  at the WTO’s 9th Ministerial Conference in Bali, Indonesia on Thursday (5 December), called "for a fresh impetus for an early conclusion of the DDA with a development-oriented outcome and also emphasizes the importance of the accession to WTO by developing countries, particularly the LDCs".


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. 


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.

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.


Amb. Aryasinha delivers G-15 Joint Statement at UNCTAD’s Trade & Development Board’s 59th Session

On behalf of the G-15 member States, Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha emphasized that developing countries and the LDc’s need UNCTAD’s assistance now more than ever in designing policies for dealing with persistent and emerging challenges for development in the aftermath of the recent economic and financial crisis which has slowed the global economic growth.  


Ambassador Tamara Kunanayakam Elected Vice Chair of 58th Session of UNCTAD’S TDB

Tamara Kunanayakam, Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, has been elected as a Vice Chair representing the Asia Group of the Trade and Development Board (TDB) of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) at its 58th Session held 12 – 28 September 2011 in Geneva.



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.


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.


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.


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.


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.



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, 200

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 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.


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.



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