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 Stratergies, 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 Assures New DG-IOM Sri Lanka's continued cooperation

09 11 2018 DGIOM

Calling on Mr. Antonio Vitorino, the new Director- General of the International organization for Migration (IOM) in Geneva, the Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to UNO, Ambassador A.L.A. Azeez, stressed that Sri Lanka's long standing ties with IOM pre-dated its membership in that Organization, and assured continued cooperation and active support both in bilateral context as well as within multilateral fora, particularly at a time when the IOM was preparing to  assume new responsibilities as the coordinator of the Global Migration Network with secretarial function for the Global Compact for Migration (GCM).

Director-General Vitorino, welcoming Sri Lanka's active contribution to the common cause of global migration governance, particularly through leadership to the Colombo Process and now as the Chair-in-Office of the Abu Dhabi Dialogue (ADD), stated that as vibrant Regional Consultative Processes (RCPs), the Colombo Process and ADD had enriched the content of the final outcome of the GCM. He expressed hope that Sri Lanka would continue this role, building upon the achievements made, to be a strong advocate for effective implementation of the GCM, during the Marrakesh High Level Meeting in December 2018, and also invited Sri Lanka to announce joint projects and proposals that could be supported by donor funding. He emphasized the importance of high-level participation at the Marrakesh Meeting.

Ambassador Azeez remarked that the IOM enjoyed wide recognition in Sri Lanka as a UN Related Agency and that the IOM country office has been closely working with the relevant Sri Lankan agencies. He requested IOM’s support for enhancing Sri Lanka's labour mobility options, particularly through capacity and skills development, noting the need for economic and social empowerment of youth and women. 

The new IOM Country Representative- designate for Sri Lanka, Mr.Sarat Dash, and the IOM Advisor for Asia and the Pacific Ms. Wen Li were associated with DG- IOM, while Deputy Permanent Representative Mrs. Samantha Jayasuriya joined Ambassador Azeez at the meeting.

Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to UN

Geneva

9 November 2018  

Ambassador Azeez co-chairs the WHO Global Coordination Mechanism for the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases

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The WHO Global Coordination Mechanism for the prevention and control of Non-Communicable Diseases (GCM/NCD) concluded its General Meeting in Geneva on 6 November 2018. The two- day Conference brought together delegates and activist from Member States, UN organizations, and non-State Actors. The participants along with other stakeholders from the private sector, philanthropic foundations, and academic institutions, discussed means and modalities of strengthening the implementation of the SDG Agenda- 2030 and follow-up on the Political Declaration adopted at the Third High-level Meeting of the General Assembly in September 2018 on the prevention and control of NCDs.

Under the co-chairmanship of Ambassador Azeez, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka, and the Representative of the host country, Switzerland, the Meeting facilitated stakeholder interactions at policy and political levels, regarding enhancing the effective coordination of prevention and control-related activities. The continued importance of multidisciplinary and multisectoral engagement, aimed to promote implementation of the WHO Global NCD Action Plan 2013-2020, and SDG 3.4 - NCD-related targets, was emphasized as was the need for building upon the existing networks of stakeholders bringing in industries, research institutions and local government bodies. A primary objective of the GCM was to assess and renew commitments that had emerged from the recently held UN High-level Meeting of the General Assembly, and its preceding High-level Conferences in 2011 and 2014. 

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Sri Lanka explores market potential in Switzerland for tourism promotion

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The Sri Lanka pavilion at the “Swiss International Holiday Exhibition” known as “iViaggiatori” was inaugurated by the Mayor of Lugano Marco Borradori, chief Organizer of Lugano Exhibition Marco Peon, and the Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the World Trade Organization Ambassador R. D. S. Kumararatne, on 01 November 2018.

The Sri Lanka Mission in Geneva, in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, organized Sri Lanka’s participation at this Holiday Exhibition which was held from 01 to 04 November 2018 at the Lugano Exhibition Centre in Switzerland. iViaggiatori is a prestigious tourism event that takes place annually in the Italian speaking canton in Switzerland, and is recognized as one of the prominent tourism trade fairs in Europe.

Switzerland is a well-developed economy with a GDP of CHF 668 billion and a per capita of CHF 79,000, the second highest in the world. The households’ disposal income is estimated to be CHF 400 billion with an average saving rate of 14%. Swiss tourists are considered to be high spenders in leisure travel.

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Innovation and technology key to progress, Deputy Speaker tells the IPU General Assembly

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Addressing the 139th Session of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) General Debate on 16 October 2018 under the theme ‘Parliamentary leadership promoting peace and development in the age of innovation and technological change’, Deputy Speaker Ananda Kumarasiri stressed that ICT has revolutionized the work of the Parliament of Sri Lanka bringing the parliamentarians and the parliamentary processes closer to the people.   

Leader of the Sri Lanka delegation to the IPU session this year, Deputy Speaker Ananda Kumarasiri spoke on the role of science and technology in the implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. He emphasized the need for development strategies to be responsive by taking into account the opportunities and challenges arising from new technologies such as nanotechnology, biotechnology, Artificial Intelligence, and space technology. Harnessing these technologies would be crucial to achieving sustainable development, said the Deputy Speaker.

In Sri Lanka,  the Deputy Speaker stated, the Government of Sri Lanka through its “‘Vision 2025’ provides a policy framework  to develop strategies that encourage the use of digital and other modern technologies that could help Sri Lanka become globally competitive and drive the nation towards a digitally empowered economy”. He further elaborated the recent initiative ‘Enterprise Sri Lanka’, a socio-economic advancement programme that includes among its objectives the “development of technology and technical and managerial skills” given that this has been identified as an “important constraint affecting SME and Micro sector development”.    

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Highlighting the key role that women could play in economic development including through participation in decision making, the Deputy Speaker stressed that ICT could have a significant impact enabling women empowerment and gender equality.  

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Visit of the Sri Lanka - Swiss Parliamentary Friendship Association to Switzerland, 14-20 October 2018

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A delegation of Members of Parliament representing the Sri Lanka - Swiss Parliamentary Friendship Association (SLSPFA) visited Geneva on 18 October 2018, continuing with a week-long  programme of visit to Switzerland from 14 to 20 October 2018.  The multi-party delegation, led by Hon. Ananda Kumarasiri, Deputy Speaker of the Sri Lanka Parliament, comprised Hon. Jayampathy WICKRAMARATNE,  the SLSPFA President, as well as Hon. Seenithamby YOHESWARAN, Hon. J.C. ALAWATHUWALA, Hon. Edward GUNASEKARA, Hon. Dr. Sudarshini FERNANDOPULLE, Hon. Prof. Ashu MARASINGHE, Hon. Bimal RATHNAYAKE, Hon. Charles NIRMALANTHAN, Hon. K.K. PIYADASA, Hon. K. Sujith PERERA and Hon. Ishak RAHUMAN.

At the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka, the Members of Parliament were warmly welcomed by Ambassador A.L.A Azeez and Mission's staff and were hosted to a high tea reception. 

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Director General of WIPO Commends Sri Lanka's Progress in Intellectual Property

05 10 2018 DG WIPO

The Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Dr. Francis Gurry commended Sri Lanka on the progress achieved in several important areas of protection and promotion of Intellectual Property during his meeting with the delegation of Sri Lanka attending the 58th Series of Meetings of the Assemblies of WIPO from 24 September to 2 October 2018.

Mrs. Geethanjali Ranawaka, Director General of the National Intellectual Property Office (NIPO) of Sri Lanka, accompanied by Deputy Permanent Representative Mrs. Samantha Jayasuriya and Minister Counsellor Ms. Shashika Somaratne of the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka in Geneva held discussions with WIPO Director General on 1 October 2018. Director of the Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific of WIPO Mr. Andrew Ong was present. 

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Sri Lanka says challenges related to mixed migration flows must also be addressed

02 05 2018 UNHCR

“Having dealt with issues related to internal displacement and refugee returnees, Sri Lanka recognizes the challenges associated with return and reintegration,’’ stated Deputy Permanent Representative of Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka in Geneva, Ms. Samantha Jayasuriya, participating at the just concluded General Debate of the 69th Session of the Executive Committee (Ex-Com) of the UNHCR in Geneva.

She noted that the Global Compact for Refugees (GCR), agreed recently following consultations in Geneva, was aimed at addressing large scale movements of refugees, but given that most movements were 'mixed flows', who were using the same routes and encounter similar needs and challenges, it was important that it must be responded to effectively at the ground level.

Sri Lanka delegate commended the agreement on GCR as a triumph for multilateralism while thanking the UNHCR and the country teams of UN agencies working in Sri Lanka for complementing the efforts of the Government. Sri Lanka reiterated its commitment to continuing its constructive engagement with the UNHCR.

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The High Commissioner for Refugees Mr. Filippo Grandi conveyed his appreciation to Sri Lanka for drawing attention of the Ex-Com to the needs and challenges of mixed migration flows, which he said was an important aspect that required collective responses at all levels. 

The Executive Committee of the UNHCR is a Forum for Annual Dialogue among States Parties to the 1951 Refugees Convention and its 1967 Protocol. Its primary objective is to assess and share experiences on addressing issues related to refugees, IDPs, Statelessness and the work and finances of the UNHCR.

Full Statement by Sri Lanka

 

Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to UNO

Geneva

2 October 2018

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.

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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.

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

12 09 2018 hrc

 

“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

Geneva

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.

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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

Geneva

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.  

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

06 07 2018 ol

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

Geneva

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. 

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

08 05 2018 apbmc

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

Geneva

8 June 2018

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

04 06 2018 107thILC

'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. 

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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

Geneva

30 May 2018

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

30 05 2018 who

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

Geneva

30 May 2018

ICRC commends the positive post-conflict developments in Sri Lanka

23 05 2018 icrc

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

Geneva

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.

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Sri Lanka discusses further collaboration with CERN

15 05 2018 Sarath amunugama

“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.

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

22 05 2018 cd

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

Geneva

22 May 2018

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

22 05 2018 dg ilo

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.

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