,menafan– Colombo Gazette)
Sri Lanka says it will continue to engage with the United Nations (UN) in a purposeful and amicable manner but opposes excessive interference in the country’s internal affairs.
Foreign Minister Prof. GL Peirce objected to the establishment of a ‘special mechanism’ by the United Nations whose sole purpose, he says, was to collect data to use against Sri Lanka.
He said there was no way of knowing what the data was and therefore no opportunity to test the truth in these allegations.
Foreign Minister Prof. Yes. El Peirce expressed these views when he met with newly appointed envoys representing 17 countries at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The meeting took place on 21 December after the ambassadors presented their credentials to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. The Ministry of External Affairs said today that most of the envoys are non-resident heads of missions based in New Delhi.
Minister Peiris welcomed the Heads of Missions and said that the Government of Sri Lanka looks forward to strong and substantial relations with all of them.
He further said that during his previous tenure as Foreign Minister under former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the government realized that there was inadequate representation in the African continent and that deliberate efforts were made to strengthen ties with African countries.
Minister Peiris said that the current government led by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa is looking at forging closer ties with African countries as well as strengthening ties with the African Union.
The External Affairs Minister apprised the Ambassadors of the current situation and developments in Sri Lanka. He said that the country has achieved substantial success even after the country’s structural plans, priorities and frameworks planned by the present government were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said 90% of persons above the age of 30 years have been double vaccinated and the country is now providing booster shots.
The minister talked about Sri Lanka’s efficient health care and delivery system as well as the support extended by the armed forces, who ensured that vaccines reach remote areas of the country.
The ambassadors were briefed on the resilience of the private sector, which has changed the nature of products, such as the apparel industry producing PPE kits adapted to the pandemic-hit environment, ensuring that the country’s export earnings are not affected And keep going people. be employed.
In the case of remittances, Minister Peiris acknowledged that remittances were affected due to the large number of Sri Lankans living abroad returning to their home countries due to the pandemic. He said that the government is in discussion with many countries as many now want to return.
The foreign minister also pointed out that the country was devastated by 30 years of conflict and was bound to leave the remnants of such conflict.
He added that it has taken decades for other countries to recover and Sri Lanka has done everything possible to deal with the remaining issues.
He spoke of mechanisms set up by the Sri Lankan government such as the Office of Missing Persons, the Commission of Inquiry, ONUR, and the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka all working to deal with the remnants of the conflict. Referring to Sri Lanka’s commitment to gender empowerment and gender equality, Minister Peiris noted that the Human Rights Commission is headed by a former female Supreme Court judge and Sri Lanka is working towards greater female representation in decision making.
The Minister called upon the sympathy of Ambassadors and High Commissioners present in international fora and their support to Sri Lanka, saying that it is important for the United Nations to support efforts made by a country to get back on its feet and tear it down. No. ,
He said that local institutions should be given space and time to come up with solutions that uphold the culture and ethics of a country.
He concluded the meeting by inviting ambassadors to Sri Lanka to attend the celebrations of the upcoming National Day in February 2022 and said that Sri Lanka looks forward to stronger bilateral ties and cooperation in the field of the United Nations. (Colombo Gazette)
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