G-15 with South Centre concludes series of symposia with Geneva based International Organisations on the Post-2015 Development Agenda

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The Group of Fifteen (G-15), a Summit level organisation of developing countries from Asia, Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean, currently chaired by Sri Lanka has taken an initiative to expand the dialogue between developing countries and Geneva based International Organisations regarding the Post-2015 development Agenda. The year 2015 is considered as a milestone in human development with the United Nations scheduled to endorse the future global development framework that will succeed the Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s) formulated in the year 2000. 

 

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Sri Lanka initiates collaboration with CERN

Sri Lanka‘s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha and the Director General of CERN, Mr. Rolf-Dieter Heurer,  signed an “Expression of Interest’ (EOI) Agreement to begin cooperation between CERN and the scientific community in Sri Lanka, on Thursday, 25 June 2015 at the CERN Headquarters in Geneva. Dr. Rüdiger Voss, Head of International Relations CERN, Mrs. Samantha Jayasuriya, Deputy Permanent Representative and Ms. Dilini Gunasekera, Second Secretary of the Sri Lanka Permanent Mission, were associated in the ceremony.


Sri Lanka and the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) have entered into an agreement to begin cooperation between CERN and the scientific community in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka‘s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha and the Director General of CERN, Mr. Rolf-Dieter Heurer, signed an “Expression of Interest’ (EOI) Agreement on Thursday, 25 June 2015 at the CERN Headquarters in Geneva to give effect to this process.

CERN is the most prominent particle physics research institute in the world and is best known for its flagship discovery of the ‘Higgs-Boson” in 2012, conferring the 2013 Nobel Prize for Physics to two theoretical physicists who had predicted this fundamental particle almost 50 years earlier. More than half of the world’s particle physicists - about 11,000 in number coming from over 600 universities in 80 countries - do research at CERN, and are engaged in complex scientific experiments.

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Sri Lanka highlights the importance of enhancing public investment in education

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Sri Lanka has highlighted the importance of enhancing public investment in education as an essential prerequisite to ensure right to education. It was noted that the new Government has pledged to increase the total provision for education from 1.7 percent to 6 percent of the GDP as well as to increase Mahapola scholarships to Rs.5000.
 
Sri Lanka made these observations in as intervention at the Interactive Dialogue with the Special rapporteur on Right to Education and IE on International Solidarity at the 29th Session of the Human Right Council in Geneva on 18 June 2015.
 

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Ambassador R. D. S. Kumarartne presents credentials to the Director General of the World Trade Organization

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The newly appointed Sri Lanka Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the World Trade Organization (WTO) Mr. R.D.S. Kumararatne, formally Director General of Commerce of the Department of Commerce presented his credentials to the Director General of the World Trade Organization Mr. Roberto Azevêdo on 15th June 2015.

At the presentation of credentials, Ambassador Kumararatne had the opportunity of exchanging views with the Head of the WTO on wide range of subject matters of interest to Sri Lanka. While briefing on current economic and political developments taking place in Sri Lanka, he has emphasised on the possible technical assistance of the WTO to enhance the capacity of the relevant institutions. He also highlighted the progress that Sri Lanka has made in connection with the implementation of Trade Facilitation Agreement of the WTO and briefed on the initiatives taken by Sri Lanka to introduce single portal to facilitate import export trade. In this regard, he has sought technical and possible funding assistance for the launch of the single portal by the Sri Lanka.

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Sri Lanka takes action against traffickers under due processes while treating migrants as victims of smugglers

15 june 2015 sr migrant sl statement
"Sri Lanka in order to prevent all forms of irregular migration, trafficking in persons and smuggling of human beings, is taking action against those traffickers under due processes, while treating the migrants as victims of smugglers". On the issue of migrants in Sri Lanka, "Sri Lanka is aware of the importance of looking at the issues related to irregular migrants into Sri Lanka in a nuanced manner and the need to develop a coherent national policy, as well as the additional capacity and resources required as a developing country, to handle matters related to migrant welfare".
 
Sri Lanka's Ambassador to the UN in Geneva and Leader of the Sri Lanka Delegation Ravinatha Aryasinha made these observations during an Interactive Dialogue on the opening day (15 June 2015) of the 29th Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, following Mr. François Crépeau, the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants presenting his report, pursuant to a visit to Sri Lanka from 19-26 May 2014. 
 

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Minister S.B. Nawinne addresses the International Labour Conference in Geneva

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Minister of Labour S.B. Navinne addressed the 104th Session of the International Labour Conference in Geneva on 05 June 2015 and highlighted the importance of formulating policies and strategies to achieve decent work for all employees to ensure social justice. In this regard, Minister Navinne stated that Sri Lanka has taken steps to establish a “National Minimum Wage” for all private sector workers.

Minister Navinne appreciated the assistance extended by ILO to Sri Lanka in number of areas including the formulation of National Human Resources and Employment Policy, National Road Map of Youth Employment, HIV & AIDS policy for the world of work, the National Strategy on Territory, Vocational Education & Provision for Vulnerable People in Sri Lanka, implementation of Labour Inspection System Application, and the elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour through the implementation of Child Labour Free Zones.

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Minister Senaratne engages in series of Meetings on the sidelines of the World Health Assembly

 
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Minister of Health and Indigenous Medicines Rajitha Senaratne, held a discussion with Dr. Margaret Chan, the Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), on the sidelines of the 68th Session of the World Health Assembly in Geneva. The Minister along with Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Ravinatha Aryasinha, briefed the Director General on the current developments in the country as well as on the new health related legislations. Dr. Chan conveyed her congratulations to President  Maithripala Sirisena, as a long serving former Health Minister, on the elevation to the highest office. 

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Sri Lanka takes a lead in Multi-lingual Internet Initiatives

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Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN in Geneva, Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha said Sri Lanka had taken a lead in multi-lingual Internet initiatives, by putting in place technical conditions to facilitate the presence of its local languages on the Internet and encouraging the development of relevant Sinhala and Tamil content, thus ensured cultural and linguistic diversity and identity. 
 
Ambassador Aryasinha made this observations when he addressed the High Level segment of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS+10) Forum 2015 on 26th May 2015 in Geneva.    
 

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"Pictorial warning is the most cost effective means of controlling tobacco related NCDs, including cancer “- WHO DG tells event hosted by Sri Lanka in Geneva

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Dr. Margaret Chan, the Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) has said "“Pictorial warning is the most cost effective means of controlling tobacco related Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs), including cancer “, and that "countries can get return on their investment in multiple areas". Paying tribute to countries including Sri Lanka whom she said "had the courage to keep going despite heavy resistance by the tobacco industry", Dr. Chan said "without our joint effort, you know what effect tobacco would take. We should not allow an industry to intimidate governments, make money and leave you with all the health consequences". She urged that "the international community come together to fight the tobacco industry".

Dr. Chan made these observations when she inaugurated a session on the theme “Strategies to overcome resistance against pictorial warning messages in tobacco products”, hosted by Sri Lanka on the sidelines of the 68th World Health Assembly at the Palais des Nations in Geneva on Monday (25th May 2015).

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Minister Dr. Rajitha Senartne addresses the World Health Assembly in Geneva

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Minister of Health and Indigenous Medicine Dr Rajitha Senartne today (19 May 2015) addressed the 68th World Health Assembly held in Geneva and highlighted the progress Sri Lanka has made in achieving the Millennium Development Goals and universal health coverage, particularly with respect to Maternal & Child Health and the control of communicable diseases.


Highlighting the health scenario in the country he said that under the guidance of President Maithripala Sirisena, the country is poised to enter a new phase of health development and pointed out that the health burden of the country is now moving more towards non communicable diseases, such as cardiovascular, respiratory neoplasm and diabetes, which account to over 70% of deaths.

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Sri Lanka joins special session to mark the 150th Anniversary of the ITU

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The Sri Lankan delegation led by the Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN in Geneva , Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha participated in the special session to mark the 150th anniversary of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) held on 17th May 2015 in Geneva.
 
ITU was established on 17 May 1865 with the signing of the first International Telegraph Convention in Paris and is the leading UN specialized agency for telecommunications and Information & Communications Technology (ICT). ITU currently has 193 Member States and membership of over 700 private sector entities and academic institutions. 
 

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Sri Lanka express its support for the reconvening of the Conference on Middle East as of Zone Free of Weapons of Mass Destruction

While underscoring the importance of establishment of Nuclear Weapon –Free Zones, as a form of mutually assuring security among members, Sri Lanka expressed its support for the reconvening of the Conference on Middle East as a Zone Free of Weapons of Mass Destruction, as decided in the 2010 NPT Review Conference.
 
Permanent Representative to the United Nations Office in Vienna, Ambassador A.L.A. Azeez made these observation on 8th May 2015 under the Agenda Item: Regional Issues, nuclear weapon free zones and related matters (Subsidiary Body II – Nuclear Non-Proliferation) of the 2015 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons held in New York.

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Sri Lanka reiterates its call for a total elimination of nuclear weapons

Noting the legitimate right of the countries which have given up the nuclear-weapon option under NPT to receive legally binding security assurances against the use or threat or use of nuclear weapons under any circumstances, Sri Lanka urged countries which possess nuclear arsenals to rethink their approach towards national security in such a manner that the use of nuclear weapons is not envisaged in their national security doctrines.

Permanent Representative to the United Nations Office in Vienna, Ambassador A.L.A. Azeez made these observation on 7th May 2015 at the Main Committee I – Disarmament of the 2015 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons held in New York.

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Sri Lanka underscores the validity and relevance of the concept of peaceful use of nuclear energy

While noting the increasing role of the nuclear energy and nuclear technology for the socio-economic development of States, Sri Lanka expressed that there should be no obstacles placed on the path to peaceful uses, subject to accepted safeguard standards. Sri Lanka also noted the importance of civil nuclear cooperation, as an important tool for realising such peaceful uses by many countries.

Permanent Representative to the United Nations Office in Vienna, Ambassador A.L.A. Azeez made these observation on 7th May 2015 Main Committee III – Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy of the 2015 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons held in New York.

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G-15 with South Centre holds Consultation with Geneva based International Organisations on the Post-2015 Development Agenda

The Group of Fifteen (G-15) with South Centre held a consultation on 'Post-2015 Development Agenda through the Perspectives of Geneva based International Organisations' at the UN Geneva on 30 April 2015. The half day meeting was aimed at having an interactive consultation between developing countries and Geneva based International Organisations on the Post 2015 Development Agenda, focusing on the 'social pillar', in the key areas of Poverty & Inequality, Migration, Labour, Food Security, Health, and Education.

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Sri Lanka remains committed to make nuclear disarmament realizable

Dr Rohan Perera, PRUN/NEW York at the NPT Review Conference 2015


Sri Lanka reiterated its commitment to strive with all States and other Stakeholders, to make nuclear disarmament realizable and bring peaceful uses of nuclear technology within reach. While recognizing the inalienable right of peaceful use of nuclear technology as provided for in Article IV of the NPT, Sri Lanka also stressed the importance of shared responsibility of States to work toward eventual elimination of nuclear weapons. Sri Lanka also expressed caution on the over-emphasizing of the increasing role of nuclear security, particularly in an era where nuclear material and technology reaching the hands of non-state actors remains a distinct and dangerous possibility.


Dr. Rohan Perera, Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York made these observations on 30 April 2015, at the 2015 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). The Review Conference is being held from 27th April to 22 May 2015 at the United Nations Head Quarters in New York.

 

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Sri Lanka address Third Session of the Open-ended IWG on a Draft UN Declaration on the Right to Peace

Sri Lanka addressed Third Session of the Open-ended Intergovernmental Working Group on a Draft United Nation Declaration on the Right to Peace held during 20 – 24 April 2015 in Geneva.

Full Statement

Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka
Geneva

27 April 2015

WIPO assures support in orienting Sri Lanka towards a knowledge and innovation economy

Secretary of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce Mr. S.S. Miyanawala, addresses the 15th Session of the Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP) held 20-24 April 2015.


The Director General of the Geneva based World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Dr. Francis Gurry, has assured support to the government's policy of orienting Sri Lanka towards a knowledge and innovation economy. Recalling his visit to Colombo in November 2013 when a 10 Point Action Plan was developed to strengthen IP related activity in the country and cooperation between Sri Lanka and the WIPO, Dr. Gurry commended the progress already made under this programme, and discussed modalities to further assist Sri Lanka.

Dr. Gurry made these observations when Secretary of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce Mr. S.S. Miyanawala met him on the sidelines of the 15th Session of the Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP) held 20-24 April 2015. Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha, Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the World Trade Organization Ambassador Nimal Karunatilake and Second Secretary Dilini Gunasekera were associated in the discussion.

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Sri Lankan Inventors win gold at the 43rd International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva, Switzerland, the world’s largest market-place for inventions

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Sri Lanka won five gold medals at the upcoming 43rd International Exhibition of Inventions to be held from 15-19 April 2015 in Geneva, which is known as the world’s largest market-place for inventions. At this event, inventions of more than 700 companies, universities and individual inventors from 48 countries are exhibited for the first time, with 60,000 visitors from all 5 continents. 

The Exhibition is a unique platform for meetings between inventors, industrialists, investors and distributors. Each year, a business volume of more than 50 million Euros is generated from the sale of licences during or after the show. An International Jury of 85 experts awarded many highly regarded prizes to the best inventions. 

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Sri Lanka cautions that autonomous weapons could compel states to abandon restraint and ignite an arms race

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Sri Lanka has cautioned that "the possession of autonomous weapons by some States, combined with their possible asymmetric usages in war, may compel other States to also abandon their policies of restraint or moratorium and ignite an arms race". It has been noted that "the experience in nuclear weapons provides a useful lesson for all of us to understand the consequences of such an arm race, where even today possession itself has continued to remain a threat to regional as well as global security.

Sri Lanka's Ambassador to the UN in Geneva Ravinatha Aryasinha, made these observations during an intervention by Sri Lanka at the Meeting of Experts on Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems (LAWS), held within the framework of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) from 13-17 April 2015 at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. Second Secretary Mafusa Lafir participated in the deliberations. Earlier on Monday, Ambassador Aryasinha opened the week long meeting in his capacity as the Chair – Designate of the CCW for 2015.

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Ambassador Aryasinha opens the 2015 Meeting of Experts on Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems (LAWS)

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Sri Lanka's Ambassador to the UN in Geneva Ravinatha Aryasinha, in his capacity as the Chair – Designate of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) for 2015, opened the week long 'Meeting of Experts on Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems (LAWS)', held within the framework of the CCW on Monday (13th April) at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. The Convention, which 120 States are party to, seeks to ban or restrict the use of specific types of weapons that are considered to cause unnecessary or unjustifiable suffering to combatants or to affect civilians indiscriminately.

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Ambassador Aryasinha speaks on "The Role of Women in Peace-building: a Sri Lankan perspective"

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Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha on 2 April 2015 addressed the first in the 'Ambassador’s Luncheon Series', on "The Role of Women in Peace-building: a Sri Lankan Perspective". The event which is a follow-up to the Geneva Peace Conference that was convened last year and focussed on Asian experiences of peace building, was co-organized by the Journalist and Writers Foundation (JWF), the Dialog Institute and Geneva Press Club. Mr. Subhas Gujadhur, Director of Universal Rights Group chaired the event.

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Sri Lanka concerned about spread of atrocities by Boko Haram

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Sri Lanka has expressed concern about the spread of atrocities by Boko Haram.  Intervening in the Special Session of the Human Rights Council held on 1st April 2015, Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha said, having suffered at the hands of one of the world’s most ruthless terrorist organisations, Sri Lanka recognizes that the fight against terrorism required a holistic approach, and hoped the Special Session will propel nations into action. 
 

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

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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.

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Foreign Minister Samaraweera meets Foreign Minister of Germany

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Hon. Mangala Samaraweera, Minister of Foreign Affairs, held bilateral discussions with  H.E. Dr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany, on 3rd  March 2015, on the sidelines of the 28th Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva.
 

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Foreign Minister Meets High Commissioner for Human Rights

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Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera who was in Geneva to participate in the High Level Segment of the 28th Session of the UN Human Rights Council on Monday, 2nd March 2015 met with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights  Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein.
 

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