H.E. Mrs. Kshenuka Senewiratne
Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations
Open debate of the UN Security Council
“Towards the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations:
Upholding the UN Charter to Maintain International Peace and Security”
9th January 2020
Thank you Mr. President,
At the outset, I wish to join others in congratulating the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam on its Presidency of the Security Council and for organizing this important open debate at the very beginning of the 75th anniversary year of the UN. The presence of H.E. Pham Binh Minh, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Viet Nam at this debate, is a demonstration of the importance of the subject matter, and is appreciated for his participation.
Sri Lanka aligns itself with the statement delivered by the distinguished representative of Azerbaijan on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement.
This debate is taking place at a crucial time when the global landscape is facing a number of challenges and threats that require concerted efforts to adhere to multilateralism, diplomacy, and further strengthening and invigorating our collective measures for the maintenance of international peace and security in conformity with the UN Charter and International Law.
Over seven and a half decades ago, 50 representatives signed the United Nations Charter that created this organization. In the name of “We the Peoples of the United Nations” they pledged to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war. These words remain engraved in our collective memory.
The Charter of the United Nations has been called a living document because of its core principles that we hold and adhere to; such as human rights, the dignity of the human person, the equality of gender and of nations- large and small, principles of non-intervention, non-violence, the peaceful resolution of disputes, building consensus and peaceful co-existence. These principles are the bedrock of this organization, reflected in its Charter, which is central to global values, norms and principles for decades.
As we enter the 75th year of the UN, it is timely to rededicate our collective commitment to the Charter and reflect on our past successes and challenges in the maintenance of international peace and security.
Today the world is confronted by numerous challenges; terrorism and the rise of extremism giving way to radicalization, grave environmental degradation, social upheavals, post-conflict situations, refugees and mass migration, financial crisis, growing inequality and poverty. No country is immune to any of these challenges and therefore can only be addressed collectively. There is a crucial need to work together to find common solutions, as we support the United Nations’ work in the three pillars of peace and security, development and human rights.
The efficacy of this organisation is determined by We, the Member States of the United Nations and will be shaped by our ability to work together to support multilateralism and confront global issues with determination and cooperation to forge global consensus, At the same time, we must ensure that the solutions also mirror the hopes and aspiration of all states and our peoples equally and not just of a select few. Therefore, the looming threat to multilateralism must be arrested forthwith by adherence to the rule based international order, based on the UN Charter.
I am pleased to note that as we mark the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, Sri Lanka commemorates the 65th anniversary of its admission to the United Nations in 1955. Since, Sri Lanka has modestly contributed to the collective work at the United Nations, including in this august body from 1960-61.
Sri Lanka has been contributing significantly to UN Peacekeeping operations as a Troop Contributing Country since 1956 and will continue to engage in these operations, demonstrating the country’s commitment to global peace and security.
In closing, I wish to reiterate Sri Lanka’s commitment to a rules-based global order firmly enshrined with the full respect of the UN Charter and the primacy of multilateralism and cooperation.
At this important juncture, let us all re-dedicate ourselves to the United Nations process with renewed vigour and commitment. I am confident that our deliberations today, will inspire us to search for collective, constructive and cooperative ways to work with greater purpose for the betterment of all, and our future generations, to leave no one behind.
I thank you.