Sri Lanka’s famed pure Ceylon Tea showcased

24nov2015 womensguild bazaar


Sri Lanka’s renowned tourist attractions and its finest teas were in focus at the National Stall set by the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations, Geneva at the United Nations Women’s Guild Bazaar held on Tuesday, 24 November 2015 at the Palais des Nations. Organized by the United Nations Women’s Guild and Permanent Missions accredited to the United Nations in Geneva, over the years the UNWG Bazaar has become a premier event in the UN calendar, with more than 150 country’s National stalls which attracting close upon 6,000 visitors.


Proceeds from the Permanent Mission’s national stall are donated to the UN Women’s Guild’s charity account which assists in raising funds for disadvantaged children around the world annually.

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Ambassador Aryasinha calls on the Secretary for Relations with States of the Holy See

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Sri Lanka's Ambassador to the Holy See and Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Ravinatha Aryasinha called on the Secretary for Relations with States of the Holy See (equivalent to Foreign Minister) His Excellency Archbishop Paul Gallagher at the Vatican on 18 November 2015. 
 
Ambassador Aryasinha updated Archbishop Gallagher on the political, social and economic developments that had taken place since the visit of His Holiness Pope Francis, particularly aspects pertaining to addressing democracy and human rights related concerns, as well as ensuring a permanent peace and reconciliation.

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CCW MEETING TAKES FORWARD MANDATE ON LETHAL AUTONOMOUS WEAPONS SYSTEMS AND PAVES THE WAY FOR 2016 FIFTH REVIEW CONFERENCE

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States Parties to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons(CCW)completed a week of conferences on Friday, 13 November, where one of the key issues before States parties was Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (LAWS), which has been the subject of intense discussion over the past two years within the CCW. 
 
The meeting was chaired by Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha of Sri Lanka. 
 

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Sri Lanka says a dialogue among States should be at the center of any future discussion on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems

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  Sri Lanka has said it “wishes to see the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) move beyond, where a dialogue among States would be at the center of any future discussion on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (LAWS), and that such a process will help in ensuring clarity on the concerns of States, as well as to create a matrix of common elements which could be derived from the debate“.
 
Addressing a dedicated discussion within the CCW agenda on Lethal Autonomous Weapons, Sri Lanka’s delegate to the Session Mrs. Mafusa Lafir, Second Secretary of the Sri Lanka Mission in Geneva, highlighted that the debate on LAWS within the CCW “is not a question of whether to ban or not to ban the autonomous technology, but a question as to what this technology should be applied to and not applied to”. She said it should be an exercise “to explore how the State Parties can take pre-emptive action on the development and the use of lethal autonomous weapons, while not affecting the much required civilian and non-lethal military use”. She noted that the concerns over the concept of ‘dual use technology’ in the nuclear field also has relevance  to the issue of LAWS and that it is important to consider safeguards that can help avoid the abuse and unintended consequences of this technology. 
 

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Ambassador Aryasinha presides over the 2015 Meeting of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW)

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Sri Lanka's Ambassador to the UN in Geneva Ravinatha Aryasinha, presided over the Meeting of the High Contracting Parties to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) which opened on 12th November 2015 at the United Nations Office in Geneva. Ambassador Aryasinha was formally designated to this post in November 2014, by acclamation, succeeding Ambassador Remigiusz A. Henczel of Poland. Over the past year Ambassador Aryasinha held extensive consultations with all stakeholders, state parties, non-governmental organizations and civil society members on key issues on the agenda of the CCW, including Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems (LAWS). 

In his opening remarks, Ambassador Aryasinha thanked Members for the confidence and trust placed in him and Sri Lanka to take forward the objectives of this Convention, as a clear sign of the international recognition of Sri Lanka's steadfast contribution to the field of disarmament over many decades. “Our acceptance of the Chair, in turn, was yet another manifestation of Sri Lanka's firm belief in and commitment to the UN multilateral system and the pivotal role it plays in maintaining international peace and security, notwithstanding the continued challenges it faces “ he said.
 

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Colombo Process meeting concludes with far reaching decisions aimed at ensuring skilled and safe labour migration from Asia

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Colombo, Sri Lanka – A two-day Senior Officials’ Meeting of the Colombo Process (CP) held in Colombo, Sri Lanka on 4-5 November 2015 has resulted in far reaching concrete decisions and recommendations aimed at advancing collective efforts for safe and skilled labour migration management by sending countries in Asia. These include the setting up of a Colombo Process Technical Support Unit (CP TSU) in Colombo, to provide support to all the CP countries in pursuing the goals and actions set in the current thematic priorities of the CP and any other areas that the CP would agree to in the future.

Hon. Ms. Thalatha Atukorale, Minister of Foreign Employment of Sri Lanka and Chair-in-Office of the Colombo Process delivering the key note address emphasized the importance of migrant workers’ contributions to economic development in both home and host countries. She reiterated Sri Lanka's commitment as CP Chair-in-Office to work towards the well being of all migrant workers of Asia, and to leverage the support of other Regional Migration Processes, as well as regional and international groups of nations and civil societies to achieve this goal.

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Colombo Process has shown that being competitors for the same markets does not stand in the way of collective action - Ambassador Aryasinha

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Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Ravinatha Aryasinha, has said the Colombo Process (CP) countries have shown that being competitors for the same markets and competing national interests has not stood in the way of collective action, and that contrary to conventional wisdom, cooperation in the field of migration must not necessarily be a ‘zero-sum-game’.

Ambassador Aryasinha, speaking in his capacity as the Chair of the Geneva-based CP Member States at the Senior Officials Meeting of the CP which opened in Colombo on 4 November 2015, noted the effective collaboration and action-oriented role of the CP to develop concrete actions and deliverables. Sri Lanka’s chairmanship of the CP over the past two years has focused on five thematic areas: Qualification and skills recognition processes, Fostering ethical recruitment, Effective pre-departure orientation and empowerment, Reducing the costs of remittance transfer, Enhancing capacities of the Colombo Process Member States to track labour market trends. He said during Sri Lanka’s chairmanship, beyond the tangible results from the identified areas for cooperation, the CP had also strengthened its operational modalities, worked towards self funding, and also enhanced cooperation with other groups, including with the ADD, the EU through the Asia-EU Dialogue and the GFMD.

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Sri Lanka says migration cuts across several aspects of development in the SDGs incorporated into the Development Agenda

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Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN in Geneva, Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha said that in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which are incorporated into the Development Agenda, migration cuts across several aspects of development, including improving the quality of human mobility through well managed migration policies; displacement among issues related to peaceful and inclusive societies and Disaster Risk reduction; address trafficking in a comprehensive manner and action by Finance for Development Action Agenda which deals with remittances. Ambassador Aryasinha made this observation in his opening remarks while he moderated the Session on ‘Reflecting on the outcomes of the 2013 UN high level dialogue on international migration and development with a view to implementation of the 2030 agenda for sustainable development’ of the Fifth Global Meeting of Chairs and Secretariats of Regional Consultative Processes on Migration (RCPs) held on 21st October 2015 in Cairo, Egypt.

Ambassador Aryasinha commended the significant role played by the IOM in actively contributing to the process of formulating the Post-2015 Development Agenda by advocating for migration to be recognized as an essential component of any future development framework and of national development policies and plans.

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Initiatives for migrants under Sri Lanka's leadership of the Colombo Process commended at Cairo Meeting

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Initiatives for migrants from the Asian region taken under Sri Lanka's Chairmanship of the Colombo Process (CP) was commended at the Fifth Global Meeting of Chairs and Secretaries of Regional Consultative Processes on Migration (RCPs), held in Cairo, Egypt, 21-22 October 2015. 

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Sports Law and Regulations to be amended

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The Minister of Sports Dayasiri Jayasekara has taken steps to amend the sports law and regulations according to the principles of International Olympic charter. He has also taken actions to submit the issues arising in relation to amending the sports law and regulations to the Olympic committee, a release from the Sports Ministry said.
 
He has also agreed to amend the sports regulations before 31.12.2015 in line with Olympic rules during a discussion at Lausanne on Oct.13. Mr. Pero Miro the Deputy Director General of the International Olympic Committee, Mr. Maxwell de Silva - Secretary to the Sri Lanka Olympic Committee had participated in this discussion. It had also been discussed to hold elections of all sports associations after amending sports regulations.
 

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Ambassador Aryasinha Addresses the 66th Session of the Executive Committee of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

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Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN in Geneva, Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha addressed the 66th Session of the Executive Committee of the United 
Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on 07 October 2015 in Geneva.
 
Mr.  Chatura Perera, First Secretary also participated in this session.
 

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Sri Lanka participates in the 55th Series of Meetings of the Assemblies of Member States of WIPO

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Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN in Geneva, Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha addressed the 55th Series of Meetings of the Assemblies of Member States of WIPO on 5 October 2015 in Geneva.

Director General of the National Intellectual Property Office of Sri Lanka, Mrs. Geethanjali Ranawaka and Second Secretary Ms. Dilini Gunasekera also participated in this session.

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Sri Lanka speaks during the adoption of the consensus Resolution on Sri Lanka

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Statement made by Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha, in the Agenda Item 2 – adoption of the resolution “Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka” (A/HRC/30/L.29) at the 30th Session of the Human Rights Council today, (01st October 2015).
 

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Sri Lanka participates in the discussion on OHCHR report on Sri Lanka

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Statement made by Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha in the Agenda Item 2 discussion of the Report of the Officer of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on Sri Lanka at the 30th Session of the Human Rights Council today (30th September 2015).
 

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Sri Lanka participates in General debate on Right to Development

Sri Lanka participated in the general debate held under Item 3 regarding the Report of the Intergovernmental Working Group on Right to Development at the 30th Session of the Human Right Council in Geneva on 17 September 2015.

Full Statement

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Ambassador Aryasinha outlines Sri Lanka’s views at informal on resolution

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Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha today outlined Sri Lanka’s view on the current draft resolution being considered at the 30th Session of the Human Rights Council during the first informal held at the Palais des Nations.

Full Statement

 

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Foreign Minister Samaraweera addresses the 30th Session of the HRC in Geneva

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Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mangala Samaraweera addressed the 30th Session of the UN Human Rights Council, in his capacity as the leader of the Sri Lanka delegation today (14th September 2015) in Geneva.

Hon. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, Minister of Justice and Buddha Sasana, Hon. Austin Fernando, Governor - Eastern Province and Adviser to H.E. the President, Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN in Geneva and senior officials of the Government of Sri Lanka participated in the opening meeting.

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Foreign Minister Samaraweera meets Prince Zeid

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Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera and Justice Minister Wijedasa Rajapaksa along with senior government officials met UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Prince Zeid at the Palais Wilson in Geneva on Sunday, 13 September 2014. 
 
Minister Samaraweera will address the Human Rights Council on Monday, 14 September.
 

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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

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"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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