Speaking at the High Level Meeting on Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace, held at the United Nations Headquarters from 24 - 25th April 2018, Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Rohan Perera highlighted the initiatives undertaken by the Government of Sri Lanka on reconciliation and peacebuilding in the country. In the course of his Statement, Ambassador Perera emphasized the importance of prevention of conflicts, as reflected in the Secretary General’s Report on Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace, as a factor that would save countless lives and resources that could otherwise be utilized for a country’s development.
He also stressed the importance of ensuring predictable and sustained funding for peacebuilding initiatives through the Peacebuilding Fund, which were crucial for reconciliation and peacebuilding efforts of countries such as Sri Lanka. Dr. Perera highlighted the collaboration between Sri Lanka and the Peacebuilding Support Office, as an example of a fruitful partnership on peacebuilding between a Member State and the United Nations.
In his intervention at the Third Interactive Session of the High Level Meeting regarding Strategic Partnerships with the United Nations for Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace, Ambassador Perera focused on the importance Sri Lanka places upon inclusivity in the peacebuilding process, particularly by engaging all relevant stakeholders such as women, youth and civil society. Sri Lanka’s efforts of engaging the Diaspora in peacebuilding initiatives was also highlighted.
The Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka also chaired a segment of the first Plenary Session of the High Level meeting on Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace on 24th April 2018, in the capacity of Vice President of the General Assembly.
On the fringes of the High Level Meeting, Sri Lanka is also co-sponsoring a side event on the “Role of Education in Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace” on 26th April 2018 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, together with the Permanent Missions of Costa Rica and Bangladesh and the University of Peace and the Nippon Foundation.
Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations
New York, 25th April 2018
H.E. Dr. Rohan Perera delivers the national statement at the High Level Meeting on Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace
Statement by Dr. Rohan Perera, Ambassador & Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations at the High Level Meeting on Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace, on 25th April 2018 in New York.
We thank you, Mr. President, for organizing this important and timely high level meeting to review the progress of the implementation of the resolutions relating to the peacebuilding architecture and the related follow up action.
Today, the world is facing an unprecedented number of conflicts, of differing nature and the importance of peacebuilding has never been felt so keenly, so intensely as before. Peacebuilding has evolved from its initial concept of mere reconstruction and rebuilding to encompass a wider canvas such as prevention, non-escalation and non-recurrence. We also attach importance to the prevention of conflicts, before they escalate and have a severe impact on people and resources that could otherwise be used for development. There is also a critical need to emphasize the aspects of national ownership and inclusivity in such processes. We have also come to recognize that maintaining peace in the long term is essential to build and strengthen societies recovering from conflict.
Sri Lanka has emerged from a long drawn conflict and for the past three years, the National Unity Government has embarked on a process of peacebuilding and reconciliation in the country. Sri Lanka has undertaken many initiatives for truth seeking, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence. By addressing the hearts and minds of our people, we hope to realize our vision for a peaceful, united and prosperous country for all our people.
Our path towards reconciliation and peacebuilding has not been easy to tread and we have faced many challenges along the way – challenges that confront most free and democratic societies. We still have some distance to travel to reach all our objectives, but we remain optimistic and hopeful for the future. We are acutely aware that in our efforts on reconciliation and achieving a long lasting peace, it is essential that we engage with the international community and the United Nations.
Sri Lanka deeply values the important contribution made by the United Nations, most particularly through the Peacebuilding Support Office and the Peacebuilding Fund, to support Sri Lanka’s journey towards reconciliation and a lasting peace.
The funding Sri Lanka received from the Immediate Response Facility and the longer term funding that has been made available to us for a multitude of areas such as resettlement, obtaining technical advise and expertise to set up the Office of National Unity and Reconciliation and the Secretariat for Coordinating the Reconciliation Mechanism, has been invaluable. What has proved to be most critical for us in our efforts have been to receive the correct assistance at the correct time. Through the Peacebuilding Priority Plan, which was drafted with the support of the Peacebuilding Support Office, the UN and the Government of Sri Lanka are working together as partners to identify areas which require assistance. The close coordination and consultations between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Resident Coordinator’s Office and Country Team has been a hallmark of our interactions with the United Nations. Our bilateral partners are to be brought in to the process to avoid duplication.
Sri Lanka’s example illustrates the importance of sustained and predictable funding for the Peacebuilding Fund and the crucial need to further strengthen the Peace Building Support Office, as proposed in the Secretary General’s Report on Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace. It is imperative that these two issues of funding and strengthening the PBSO are given priority consideration and translated in to practical action, if the United Nations is to remain a viable contributor to the peacebuilding efforts of Member States in future.
Sri Lanka stands ready to support all initiatives in this regard.
I thank you Mr. President.