Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha, Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva delivered the Statement on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka as the country concerned during the Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur (SR) on Minority Issues, at the 34th Session of the Human Rights Council today (15 March 2017). The statement followed the presentation of the Report (A/HRC/34/53/Add.3) by the Special Rapporteur Ms. Rita Izsák-Ndiaye on her visit to Sri Lanka from 10 to 20 October 2016.
Hon. Jayampathy Wickramaratne, MP, President's Counsel (PC)
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mangala Samaraweera met UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein at the Palais des Nations in Geneva on 01 March 2017.
Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha, Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva delivered the Statement on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka as the country concerned during the Clustered Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Dr. Nils Melzer, at the 34th Session of the Human Rights Council today (02 March 2017). The statement followed the presentation of the Report (A/HRC/34/54/Add.2) on the visit of previous Special Rapporteur on Torture, Mr. Juan E. Mendez to Sri Lanka from 29 April to 7 May 2016.
Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka
02 March 2017
Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera who is presently in Geneva to participate in the High-Level segment of the 34th Session of the UN Human Rights Council met UN Secretary-General Antonio Gueterres Monday (27). This was the first meeting of the Minister with the new UN Secretary-General who took office in January this year. Recalling his several visits to Sri Lanka from 1978 onwards, including as High Commissioner for Refugees, the Secretary-General said that Sri Lanka is a country that is very dear to his heart.
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mangala Samaraweera, leader of the Sri Lanka delegation, addressed the 34th Session of the Human Rights Council at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, today (28th February 2017).
Hon. Jayampathy Wickramaratne, MP, President's Counsel (PC), Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN in Geneva, Mr. Mano Tittawella, Secretary General, Secretariat for Coordinating Reconciliation Mechanisms (SCRM), Mr. A.L.A. Azeez, Senior DG/EU, Multilateral Treaties and Commonwealth, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka and other senior officials of the Government of Sri Lanka comprised the Sri Lanka delegation to the 34th HRC.Permanent Mission of Sri LankaGeneva
28th February 2017
The permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the United Nation in Geneva celebrated the 69th Anniversary of Independence on 4th February 2017 at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) with the participation of over 250 members of the Sri Lankan community.
An International Cooperation Agreement (ICA) to enhance scientific cooperation in High Energy Physics between the scientific community of Sri Lanka and the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), was signed in Geneva on Wednesday (8 February 2017). Minister of Science, Technology & Research, Susil Premajayantha and the Director for International Relations of CERN, Ms. Charlotte Warakaulle signed on behalf of the two parties.
Switzerland, a co-chair of the UN intergovernmental consultations on the modalities for the process for adoption of the ‘Global Compact for safe, orderly and regular migration’, has commended the Abu Dhabi Dialogue (ADD) chaired by Sri Lanka, for its proactive action to seek close engagement in the process of development of the Global Compact on Migration (GCM). Mr. Pietro Mona, Deputy Head, Global Program on Migration and Development of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, acknowledged the leadership of Sri Lanka and the ADD troika, which also includes Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), for initiating such a dialogue within the ADD, even before the resolution on modalities for the intergovernmental negotiation on the Global Compact was adopted by the UN General Assembly.
On 13 January 2017, the Colombo Process (CP) Member States signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the International Organization of Migration (IOM), operationalising a self-funding funding mechanism for the CP.
H.E. Ravinatha Aryasinha, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka, highlighted the key developments following the inauguration-in-office of H.E. the President, and reflected on the importance of reconciliation and integration as the way forward for Sri Lanka. He further stated that a number of important steps were taken by the Government both domestically and internationally to promote reconciliation and economic development of the country. Speaking on the importance of continued contribution by expatriate Sri Lankans to this process, Ambassador Aryasinha stressed the need to work together as one community for a better future for Sri Lanka.
GENEVA (ILO News) – On 12 January 2016, the Government of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka deposited with the International Labour Office the instrument of ratification of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC, 2006). Sri Lanka is the 81st ILO member State and the 16th Asian State to have ratified the Convention.
Sri Lanka said that it supports the establishment of a Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (LAWS) in 2017, within the framework of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) and to elevate the dialogue on LAWS to a State –driven formal process.
The Director General of International Organization for Migration (IOM) Ambassador William Lacy Swing commended Sri Lanka’s dynamic leadership in Migration in connection with the important role played by Sri Lanka as the current chair of the Colombo Process. In particular Ambassador Swing highlighted the development of the five thematic areas ; Skills and Qualification Recognition, Ethical Recruitment, Pre-departure Orientation, Remittances and Labour Market Trends, under Sri Lanka’s chair of the Colombo Process.
Sri Lanka has been admitted to the Foundation Council, the Governing Body of the Geneva Center for Security Policy (GCSP). Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha represented Sri Lanka for the first time at the Foundation Council Meeting held last week (15th November 2016) in Geneva. Welcoming Sri Lanka, Professor François Heisbourg Chairman of the GCSP Foundation Council expressed confidence that Sri Lanka would actively contribute towards the work of the Council.
A CDIP Project titled “Intellectual Property, Tourism and Culture” was launched in Sri Lanka through a WIPO Mission undertaken from 2-6 May 2016. This Mission brought together the main stakeholders in the fields of IP, tourism and culture, and a National Steering Committee has been established for the project implementation at national level. In the framework of this Project, the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) has been appointed as the coordinating agency for the project implementation in Sri Lanka.
A cross-party Sri Lankan parliamentary delegation led by Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation Hon. Nimal Siripala de Silva was hosted by Hon. Christa Markwalder, President of the National Council, Switzerland at the Switzerland National Parliament in Bern on 26 October 2016.
During the official meeting, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva briefed the Swiss delegation regarding the steps taken to strengthen the parliament through constitutional amendments in recent times including the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, paving the way for the establishment of the independent commissions, as well as the proposed Constitution and the electoral reforms currently under deliberation. Noting the close bilateral relations between the two countries, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva called for cooperation between the two parliaments in the years ahead.
Hon. Karu Jayasuriya, Speaker of the Parliament, attending the 135th Session of the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly in Geneva, was invited to chair the emergency session on Syria called by the IPU Assembly on 25th October. The Session had before it a Resolution titled “The war and the severe humanitarian situation in Syria, particularly in Aleppo” presented by Germany and Mexico. Pursuant to the General Debate, a Drafting Committee was mandated to discuss and present the finalized Resolution on 27th October 2016, for the consideration of the IPU Assembly.
The Speaker and the Sri Lanka delegation also had a courtesy meeting with the Secretary-General of the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) Mr. Martin Chungong. During the discussion, Mr. Chungong noted the positive developments in Sri Lanka and the democratic gains. Hon. Speaker stressed the contribution of parliaments and parliamentarians in the democratic process and underscored the need to strengthen parliaments as well as the importance of building networks between the parliaments and parliamentarians. Mr. Chungong agreed with the Speaker to enhance cooperation between Sri Lanka and the IPU.
Leading a high-level Sri Lankan Parliamentary delegation to the 135th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) being held from 23-27 October 2016 in Geneva, Hon. Karu Jayasuriya, Speaker of the Parliament of Sri Lanka addressed the General Debate this morning (25 October 2016). The theme of this year’s debate was ‘Human Rights abuses as precursors of conflict: Parliaments as early responders.’
Sri Lanka delegation included Hon. Nimal Siripala De Silva, M.P., Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation, Hon. Vijitha Herath, M.P., Hon. (Mrs.) Rohini Kumari Wijeratne, M.P., Hon. Velu Kumar, M.P. and Mr. Dhammika Dasanayake, Secretary-General of Parliament.
The International Organization on Migration (IOM) has expressed readiness to further enhance its assistance to Sri Lanka, by providing training and capacity building support for the Ministries of Foreign Employment and Foreign Affairs, and to the Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau (SLBFE). It was agreed to extend cooperation in the areas of countering human trafficking and people smuggling operations, providing short-term internship opportunities with the IOM for the relevant officials as well as supporting the upgrading of the consular services of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The IOM also pledged to continue technical and secretarial support for the Colombo Process (CP) - the regional consultative forum of contractual labour originating countries in Asia, currently chaired by Sri Lanka.
These assurances were given when Minister of Foreign Employment Thalatha Atukorale who was in Geneva last week to attend the 6th Global Meeting of Chairs and Secretaries of Regional Consultative Processes on Migration met with the Director General of IOM Ambassador William Lacy Swing, to discuss and follow up progress on Sri Lanka’s bilateral cooperation with the IOM. Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Ravinatha Aryasinha, Deputy Permanent Representative Samantha Jayasuriya, Counsellor Shashika Somaratne, and Acting Deputy General Manager of the Foreign Employment Bureau D.G.G.S. Yapa, were associated with the Minister.
The Minister of Foreign Employment Thalatha Atukorale, who is also the Chair in Office of the Colombo Process (CP), the regional consultative forum of contractual labour originating countries in Asia has said, Sri Lanka is providing leadership for the CP to be a bridge between labour sending and receiving countries fostering strong partnership for the Asian region. She said “the CP will soon agree on the role it can play in supporting the overall implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) related to migration with a specific focus on contractual labour migrants”, “benefitting from the experience of having worked on issues such as ethical labour recruitment, migrant health and remittances over the past 2 years.” The Minister said “in the forthcoming negotiations on developing the ‘Global Compact on Migration by 2018’ the CP should be ready to engage constructively, building on the SDGs framework.”
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filipo Grandi, has said the UNHCR “will continue to work on, the return of those Sri Lankans that wants to return, solutions for internally displaced people and commendable work that the Government is doing for the statelessness”. The High Commissioner made this observation, in response to the national statement of Sri Lanka delivered by Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Ravinatha Aryasinha, at the 67th Session of the Executive Committee of the UNHCR, held in Geneva this week.