Thank you for the of the invitation to participate at this side event to focus on the linkage between SDGs and taxation from the Sri Lankan perspective.
Let me thank all the five UN Regional Commissions for organizing this event and giving us the opportunity to exchange views on a topic which is at the heart of the challenge developing countries face in realizing Agenda 2030. It is public debt and its impact on achieving the SDGs.
We meet at a time when the development agenda that we embarked on in 2015 seems to have regressed and is in danger of remaining unachieved in 2030. Even before the pandemic, the development agenda was somewhat constrained due to a multitude of factors. These factors have exacerbated due to a combination of events stemming from the pandemic to the conflict in Ukraine and climate change. Multilateralism and multilateral organizations as well as the process of globalization have today come under threat due to the perception that institutions committed to delivering the Development Agenda have not achieved their milestones. The lack of adequate and sustainable financing remains the primary and key challenge today that many states face in meeting the targets of the 2030 Agenda.