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Sri Lanka calls for regional effort to overcome task of economic recovery

COME TOGETHER – State Minister for Regional Cooperation Tharaka Balasuriya addressed a virtual meeting of the ASEAN Regional Forum

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is stressing the need for Asian countries to come together to face the uphill task of economic recovery and rebuilding the livelihood of its citizens in the aftermath of the global Covid pandemic.

The country’s statement was made at the 27th ASEAN Regional Forum was held yesterday 12th September when the meeting was conducted virtually.

State Minister for Regional Cooperation, Tharaka Balasuriya represented Sri Lanka at the Forum.

In his statement, Balasuriya commended the role of ARF as a proponent of peace, stability and prosperity in the region.

“The issues our countries face are no longer confined to the geographical boundaries of a respective country. As we live in difficult times characterized by traditional and non-traditional security issues, Sri Lanka rests importance to a collective commitment to the regional stability and recovery, practical security cooperation, maritime and cybersecurity, counter-terrorism and transnational crimes and non-proliferation and disarmament” he said.

While taking note of Sri Lanka’s policies adopted to address public health crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic, he stressed that concerted efforts by all members of the ARF is vital In that context, achieving prosperity and promoting a people-centric economic development plan is key, Balasuriya noted.

Sri Lanka further underscored the misuse of information and communication technology (ICT) as a major hindrance to the global security and called for collective efforts to cooperate and mitigate threats such as cybercrime, cyber-attacks on critical infrastructure, a media statement released by the Foreign Ministry said.

Sri Lanka further noted that ARF as a regional mechanism has dealt successfully in countering terrorism and transnational crimes and underscored that in tackling these problems, remedies by single country is not sufficient and called for a collective effort to fight against these transnational crimes.

The 27th ASEAN Regional Forum was represented by Malaysia, Canada, Indonesia, United States of America, The Philippines, Japan, Cambodia, South Korea, Singapore, Brunei Darussalam, Australia, Lao PDR, New Zealand, Thailand, China, European Union, Bangladesh, Timor Leste, Myanmar, Pakistan, Mongolia, Papua New Guinea, India, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Russia, Viet Nam.

The ASEAN Regional Forum was established under the aegis of the ASEAN in 1993 and Sri Lanka is a member of the ARF since 2007. It is an important platform for providing a constructive security dialogue and consultation on political and security issues of common interest and concern in the Southeast Asian region. It provides a platform for members to significantly contribute to efforts towards confidence-building and preventive diplomacy in the Asia-Pacific region. (Colombo, September 13, 2020)

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Reported by Arjuna Ranawana