Sri Lanka asserts it values multilateralism
Addressing the 74th United Nations General Assembly the Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ravinatha Aryasinha has said that Sri Lanka is committed to a rules-based global order and values the spirit of multilateralism and cooperation.
Aryasinha who led this year’s delegation said that his country is deeply conscious of the impact of climate change. Though a low emission country, “it has been compelled to bear the brunt of extreme and persistent adverse weather conditions of longer droughts and frequent floods generated by rising temperatures and sea levels. This has caused significant loss of life and serious damage to property and infrastructure, slowing down economic growth and impeding progress,” he added
He also mentioned Sri Lanka’s contribution to peacekeeping across the world. He said “few countries can qualitatively match the troops sent by Sri Lanka who have extensive professional experience in all aspects of peacekeeping and providing humanitarian assistance. I take this opportunity to express gratitude to their contribution, and wish to particularly remember the three soldiers Corporal M. Wijesinghe who made the ultimate sacrifice in Haiti in 2005 and Captain H.W.D. Jayawickrama and Corporal S.S. Wijekumara in Mali early this year.”
Aryasinha also talked of the challenges the country faces after the Easter Sunday attacks.
He said that the attacks “challenged the pluralistic society in Sri Lanka that had zealously guarded the normalization, reconciliation and development process, arduously rebuilt since the end of the separatist terrorist conflict in the country. Despite the attempts of these terrorists to destroy the country’s social fabric, the resilience and trust between our communities and the law enforcement authorities ensured that citizens themselves warned of impending attacks and assisted in apprehending the culprits.”
“Therefore the post-Easter attack period has proved to be a ‘litmus test’ to Sri Lanka’s resolve to adhere to human rights standards, while fighting terrorism, and also determine the strengths and shortcomings of the democratic institutions that have been strengthened in recent years.
Conscious of our international obligations, Sri Lanka is also consulting with partners in striving to bring about domestic enabling legislation that would make us compliant with more recent Security Council resolutions on combatting terrorism – relating to terrorist financing, border security, returning terrorist fighters and countering violent extremism,” he said.
Recent Events have also reaffirmed the independence of our Judiciary, as well as the resilience of our democratic institutions, including the public service. These events also concretize our public’s trust in democracy and the rule of law, and despite numerous challenges, the country has progressed in its course towards reconciliation and durable peace