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Briefing to Member States on the Occasion of the Second Anniversary of the Launch of the UN “Youth 2030” Strategy - Welcome Remarks H.E. Mrs. Kshenuka Senewiratne, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations - New York, 16 September 2020,

Wednesday, 16 September 2020


New York, 16 September 2020, 11:00 – 13:30 hrs


Welcome Remarks H.E. Mrs. Kshenuka Senewiratne,

Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations


Her Excellency UN Deputy-Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed

His Excellency Michal Mlynar, Permanent Representative of Slovakia to the UN

Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Jayathma Wickramanayake

All briefers,


Ladies & Gentlemen,

On behalf of the Permanent Missions of Sri Lanka and Slovakia, I am extremely pleased to extend a warm welcome to all of you, to this important stocktake, on the occasion of the second anniversary of the launch of the UN “Youth 2030” strategy.

As you are all aware, this Youth Strategy was officially launched in September 2018 at a high-level event here in New York, with the association of the UN Secretary-General His Excellency António Guterres. Given that 2 years have since passed, my friend Ambassador Michal of Slovakia and I thought it would be timely and opportune to examine the progress of its implementation, and seek out if there is anything that we, as Member States could assist to provide further impetus to this important initiative.

In our discussions with Jayathma UNSG’s Envoy on Youth on this subject, culminated to today’s initiative. My sincere appreciation is extended to the co-hosts of this event, the teams at the Permanent Missions of Slovakia and Sri Lanka, and at the Youth Envoys’ Office for their tremendous, ready support.

Dinakshie Priyasad joins Commonwealth campaign in saying no more to domestic and sexual violence

Monday, 14 September 2020

14 September 2020

Sri Lankan actress Dinakshie Priyasad has joined leaders and celebrities from across the Commonwealth for the first-of-its-kind 'Commonwealth Says NO MORE' campaign against domestic and sexual violence.

The Commonwealth Secretariat and NO MORE Foundation have launched the campaign designed to help tackle the immediate crisis of the rapid increase in domestic and sexual violence due to the impacts of COVID-19, while also providing support for governments, organisations and individuals to confront this issue through longer-term prevention strategies and support.

The launch was held at a special virtual event attended by representatives and advocates from across the Commonwealth and representing nearly one-third of the world’s population.

At the event, the partners unveiled the first pan-Commonwealth digital portal designed to support governments and civil society in identifying and implementing joint solutions while also providing individuals with concrete actions they can take to support both the campaign and those affected by domestic violence.

Sri Lanka highlights the importance of a collective effort for the prosperity in Southeast Asia at the 27th ASEAN Regional Forum

Saturday, 12 September 2020

The 27th ASEAN Regional Forum was held on 12th September 2020 virtually.  The State Minister for Regional Cooperation, Tharaka Balasuriya represented Sri Lanka at the Forum. 

In his statement Minister Balasuriya commended the role of ARF as a proponent of peace, stability and prosperity in the region. Sri Lanka highlighting the values of constructive dialogue, consultation and cooperation by all member states in maintaining peace and security in the region, called for collective efforts by the ARF member states to address traditional and non-traditional security threats.

United Nations Day for South-South Cooperation -10 September 2020 - Statement by H.E. Kshenuka Senewiratne, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations

Thursday, 10 September 2020


United Nations Day for South-South Cooperation

10 September 2020

Statement by H.E. Kshenuka Senewiratne, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations


Your Excellency Tijjani Mohammed Bande, President of the 74th session of the General Assembly,

Excellencies, Ladies & Gentlemen,

The initiative of the UN Office of the South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) to organize this Meeting is much appreciated. Sri Lanka aligns with the Statement delivered by the Chair of the Group of 77 & China.

As we commemorate the 42nd Anniversary of the adoption of the BAPA this year, the world is regrettably facing unimaginable devastation and suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic, which has mutated from health to economic, humanitarian, and social crises.   


Our hard-won development goals are well under threat of reversal due to the pandemic, thereby exacerbating the pre-existing vulnerabilities of the South. Global inequalities in the areas of the digital divide, trade and gaps in the access to education and health care facilities, and increasing vulnerability to external shocks have now been exposed with the onset of the pandemic. In this context, it is pivotal to explore partnerships to overcome these challenges through, technological transfer, technical assistance, negotiations on equal status, and sharing of lessons learnt, expertise and skills. While South-South Cooperation can make an important contribution initially to this end, it would need to be complemented by North-South Cooperation in order to derive the best.

As we have reached the Decade of Action, the world warrants urgent action by stakeholders at all levels to mitigate the health, economic and social consequences arising from the pandemic, and formulate strategies to move ahead. Time and again, South-South Cooperation has offered notable solutions to our shared development challenges. As such, it has a crucial role to play in the current context, driven by the spirit of solidarity of the South.

However, it is important to underline that, South-South Cooperation is not a substitute for Official Development Assistance, or replace the need for responsibilities of the global North, which are crucial for financing for development. Triangular cooperation also adds value to South-South cooperation by enabling developing countries to widen the source and access more resources, expertise and capacities.

Mission of Sri Lanka hosts annual Free Flu Shot for Diplomatic Missions in collaboration with Walgreens Duane Reade Pharmacy

Wednesday, 09 September 2020

The Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka in New York, in collaboration with Walgreens Duane Reade Pharmacy held its Annual Flu Shot Clinic for Diplomats of the Permanent Missions to the United Nations in New York and their families at its premises on Wednesday,09th September 2020. This is the 5th consecutive year that the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka has organized this service for the Diplomatic Community in New York.

Intervention by Hon. Ajith Nivard Cabraal, State Minister for Money & Capital Market and State Enterprise Reforms. Event: Financing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond: Meeting of the Ministers of Finance

Tuesday, 08 September 2020

Intervention by Hon. Ajith Nivard Cabraal,
State Minister for Money & Capital Market and State Enterprise Reforms


Event: Financing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond: Meeting of the Ministers of Finance


Your Excellencies,

Sri Lanka has been a remarkable “success story” in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. We have been able to contain the spread of the virus with very few deaths and minimum community spread. However, the measures taken to contain the spread, together with the adverse global economic conditions have unfortunately taken a sizable toll on the country’s fiscal and external well-being and health. As result, Sri Lanka, like several other middle income economies with sizable debt and heavy reliance on tourism and exports, have faced some formidable challenges. At the same time, it is also known that, although the fall-out of the pandemic affected all emerging and developing nations as well, the international financial institutions prioritized financial support for the lower income economies only. This policy forced many countries like Sri Lanka to rely on their own strengths to overcome the economic ramifications of this global crisis,  although it has been quite stressful on our economies. It has also reduced our ability to provide further much-needed relief to our people who have been affected by this global debacle.    

Even amidst these difficulties, we have courageously adopted  relief measures to ease the burden on domestic businesses and individuals. We have granted debt moratoria, tax relief and  concessional life-lines. We have provided cash grants to millions of affected persons to help them to face the challenges caused by this global pandemic.

Sri Lanka urges BIMSTEC Member States to embrace the “new normal” for regional prosperity

Friday, 04 September 2020

Foreign Secretary Admiral Professor Colombage chairing the   21st Session of the Senior Officials’ Meeting (SoM) urged BIMSTEC Member States to embrace the “new normal, and adapt fast”, at the first virtual meeting held on 2 September 2020, in Colombo.    

In his inaugural remarks, the Foreign Secretary stated that  global dynamics will not be the same after the COVID-19 pandemic as it has affected  all  States,  in various  degrees, as  it  transformed  from  a health crisis  to an economic and human crisis  as described by the  United Nations Secretary General António Guterres. In fact, he stated that the   crisis has affected the very fabric of   daily life of BIMSTEC Member States as  economic activities have slowed down with global and regional value chains disrupted, millions of people have lost their jobs with many pushed into poverty and  therefore the  meeting was timely, as it  is an opportunity to build on the assurances made by Heads of State of BIMSTEC Members on combatting the adverse effects of COVID-19 at the 23rd  Anniversary of the BIMSTEC Day held in June 2020. He said that their messages were clear and encouraging as the Leaders had reiterated and acknowledged the need to build a better and resilient   organization that could leverage regional cooperation in the recovery and rehabilitation process in post COVID-19. 


Foreign Minister Gunawardena and the EU Ambassadors in Colombo discuss ways to further advance the EU-Sri Lanka bilateral engagement

Friday, 04 September 2020

Ambassador of the Delegation of the European Union in Colombo Denis Chaibi along with the EU Ambassadors of Italy, the Netherlands and Charge d’ Affaires of the Embassies of Romania, Germany and France paid a courtesy call on Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena on 2 September 2020.

The Ambassadors offered congratulations to the Foreign Minister on his re-appointment and expressed the desire for continued closer cooperation. It was noted that Europe was the number one destination for Sri Lanka's exports and a major source of foreign direct investment and tourism. The Ambassadors said that Sri Lanka has performed remarkably well in controlling the spread of COVID-19 and as a result, they were confident that European tourists would return to Sri Lanka, once the airports were reopened.