SL participates at UN Intl’ Conference on Small Island Developing States

Saturday, 4 October 2014 00:23 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  Sri Lanka participated at the Third UN International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) which was held in Apia, Samoa. The Summit was inaugurated by Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi, Prime Minister of Samoa and Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary General. High Commissioner Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe represented Sri Lanka at the Summit. The two previous SIDS Conferences were held in Barbados (1994) and in Mauritius (2004). The Conference focused on issues of climate change, sustainable development, vulnerabilities and disproportionate negative impact on SIDS. The progress achieved so far and the issues impeding the advancement and action plans were highlighted. High Commissioner Admiral Samarasinghe, addressing the Conference, explained the Sri Lanka’s commitment to support SIDS through innovative and durable partnerships being sensitive to economic social, security and climate challenges though not being technically classified as a small state but sensitive to SIDS. The RIO + 20 outcome and statement made by the Plurinational State of Bolivia and on behalf of the G77 of China were emphasised. The establishment of a Centre of Excellence on Ocean Science and Environment under the auspices of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) in Sri Lanka was highlighted to confirm Sri Lanka’s commitment in Maritime Affairs. A total of 21 Heads of State/Heads of Government, three Deputy Prime Ministers, 17 Ministers, 14 Deputy Ministers and 99 UN Member states and their delegates formed the main assembly whilst 35 UN and International Organisations joined the 3,000 delegate Conference. The Outcome of the Summit was unanimously adopted as ‘Samoa Pathway’ that was formulated with Co-Chairs from New Zealand and Singapore. The High Commissioner made use of the occasion to engage in short bilaterals/interactions with Prime Ministers of Samoa, Seychelles, Tonga, Vanuatu, East Timor and Secretary General of United Nations Ban Ki-moon, Foreign Ministers of Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia Mauritius and Spain. Ministry of External Affairs Assistant Director Dhammika Semasinghe participated as a Member of the Sri Lanka delegation.