The progress made by Sri Lanka so far in resettling the people displaced by the conflict and achieving the Millennium Development Goals amidst a long drawn-out conflict was commended by the United Nations representative in Sri Lanka.
Addressing the 65th UN Day celebrations early this week, the United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Neil Buhne said the "progress made so far needs to be recognised whether it is in terms of the progress towards the Millennium Development Goals, or in the accomplishments of the people displaced as they return and rebuild their lives with the support of the Government, the UN system and international organisations, civil society and the private sector."
Buhne observed that Sri Lanka is overcoming the polarisation and distrust associated with a long conflict and pointed out that more than most countries Sri Lanka is positioned to move beyond that and take advantage of the opportunities an interconnected world offers to improve people’s lives.
The UN representative emphasised that it is Sri Lankans who will take the country beyond but stressed that the UN can help Sri Lanka use the universal values of tolerance, mutual respect, and human dignity common to all religious faiths to achieve the progress.
Buhne said the UN Day is a day on which they resolve to do more.
"Here in Sri Lanka it also means helping the country take advantage of the opportunities development can bring and supporting the government in ensuring that as this happens inequalities become less rather than more," he noted.
The Country Coordinator said the UN Day means the world body is to help the country to adapt to changes including the climate change.
"It means recognising and promoting, and preserving the richness, diversity of Sri Lanka’s environment and people, and helping the world to appreciate and recognise that unique beauty," the UN representative said.