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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka
27 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mangala Samaraweera addressing the High Level segment on the opening day of the 28th Session of the UN Human Rights Council, on 2nd March 2015 in Geneva briefed the Council on developments in Sri Lanka following the presidential election on 8th January and the new Government taking office. The Minister noted the Government was committed to engage and work in cooperation with a range of international organisations and countries and seek solutions to issues through dialogue, cooperation, understanding and learning.
Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha has said the special 'Declaration of Peace' pledge made at this year’s Independence Day celebration in Sri Lanka was an important reminder of the concerted efforts being made in the country to seek reconciliation and to ensure that we do not repeat mistakes of the past. He said the challenge before expatriate Sri Lankans, was to consider ways and means of making the 'Declaration of Peace' pledge a reality abroad in practical ways. He particularly urged Sri Lanka related organizations abroad, to play a catalytic role in furthering the objectives of unity, amity and reconciliation contained in the 'Declaration of Peace' in all their work.