|Minister Prof. Peiris visits Geneva to attend high-level meetings on trade, development issues|
|Tuesday, 16 September 2008|
Professor G.L. Peiris, Minister of Export Development and International Trade, arrived in Geneva last week to attend the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Conference on the World Trade Organisation (WTO) held in Geneva 11-12 September 2008 and the Geneva Trade and Development Forum in Crans Montana from 17-20 September 2008.
The IPU Conference on the WTO constituted a high-level forum attended by Parliamentarians from many countries, to discuss various issues relating to the WTO and the multilateral trading system, including the Doha Round of negotiations, trade and climate change, international trade and the global food crisis, and developments in Information Communication Technology (ICT) and trade.
Addressing the IPU Conference on WTO, Professor G.L. Peiris said that information and communication technology is one of the main instruments used by the Government of Sri Lanka to promote social equity and, in particular, to ensure access to opportunity for the vast mass of people living in the rural areas of Sri Lanka.
Intervening in the session on ‘Trade in the Era of Digital Revolution’, Prof. Peiris informed the Conference of a series of initiatives taken in Sri Lanka to provide computers and internet facilities to all villages and to make public communication facilities available to all villages.
He also dealt with the far-reaching legislative innovations in Sri Lanka in this field.
Minister Peiris, referring to Sri Lanka’s Electronic Transactions Act, said that this legislation had been used extensively by commercial courts in Sri Lanka. In a landmark case, the Commercial High Court of Sri Lanka had interpreted this Act to allow SMS messages as evidence in a money recovery case.
The Minister observed that, apart from the legal framework, action is being taken to ensure that e-commerce is a viable option in the future, especially for the small and medium sector.
On Monday 15th September, Minister Peiris met with the EU Troika, comprising of the Permanent Representative of France representing current EU presidency, Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic, the Head of the European Commission delegation in Geneva and the Head of the EU Council Liaison Office in Geneva. The honourable Minister had a comprehensive discussion with the EU delegation with regard to the renewal of GSP+ for Sri Lanka and briefed them on the recent political and legal developments in the country.
During the discussion, Prof. Peiris was assisted by Dr. Dayan Jayatilleke, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, Mr. Chulabhaya Magedaragamage, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the World Trade Organization and Prof. Rajeeva Wijesinghe, Secretary to the Ministry of Human Rights and Disaster Management, Mr. Yasantha Kodagoda, Deputy Solicitor General, Attorney-General’s Department and Mr. O.L. Ameerajwad, Counsellor, Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the UN Office in Geneva.
Professor G.L. Peiris also met with Mr. Pascal Lamy, Director General of the World Trade Organization in Geneva and had discussions on trade issues with him.
He was assisted by Mr. Chulabhaya Magedaragamage, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the World Trade Organization and Ms. Ruwanthi Ariyaratne of the Sri Lanka Mission.
In the evening, H.E. Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations Office in Geneva hosted a working dinner in honour of the visiting Minister. UN Ambassadors from different regions of the globe (Bangladesh, Cuba, China, India, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, the Russian federation, the United States of America and Venezuela) were invited to the dinner. Professor Rajiva Wijesinha, Secretary, Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights and Mr. Yasantha Kodagoda, Deputy Solicitor General, Attorney-General’s Department, who are presently in Geneva to represent Sri Lanka at the 9th UN Human Rights Council session, were also present at this dinner.
The Minister also attended several sessions of the 55th Session of the UNCTAD Trade and Development Board.
Prof. Peiris is currently attending the Trade and Development Forum in Crans Montana, which is being held for the first time this year. The Geneva Trade and Development Forum (GTDF) is expected to be a platform for developed and developing countries to address through debate and dialogue, the specific challenges and opportunities developing countries face from globalization and trade liberalization.
Hon. Prof. G.L. Peiris, Minister of Export Development and International Trade, with Mr. Pascal Lamy, Director General of the World Trade Organization in Geneva
Minister Peiris & Mr. Pascal Lamy, Director General of the World Trade Organization in Geneva
From left to right : Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha , Secretary – Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights, Hon. Prof. G.L. Peiris , H.E. Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka – Ambassador & Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN Office, Geneva , H.E. Mr. Chulabhaya Magedaragamage, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the World Trade Organization and Mr. Yasantha Kodagoda, Deputy Solicitor General, Attorney-General’s Department.
The EU delegation meets with Minister Peiris and the Sri Lanka delegation
Minister Peiris at the Inter-Parliamentary Conference on the WTO, held in Geneva by the Inter-Parliamentary Union
Minister Peiris making his intervention during the IPU Session on ‘Trade in the Era of Digital Revolution’
Minister Peiris, and other participants at the IPU Conference on the WTO
|Last Updated ( Monday, 09 March 2009 )|
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