Sri Lanka committed to reconciliation

A high level delegation from UNICEF’s governing body says Sri Lanka has moved from a state affected by conflict to a state deeply committed to reconstruction, reconciliation and development.

UNICEF says it is responding to this shift by moving to mainstream development work while still addressing the lingering needs of those affected by the conflict.

Members of the Bureau of UNICEF’s Executive Board were on a week-long mission to Sri Lanka recently with the aim of assessing UNICEF’s work in the field with government agencies and development partners.

A report today on the visit issued by UNICEF said that the delegation met senior government officials and members of the community in the north. They were also briefed on the country’s latest developments and security-related issues.

Headed by Permanent Representative of the Republic of Kenya to the United Nations Macharia Kamau, the visiting team included Deputy Permanent Representative of the Permanent Mission of Antigua and Barbuda to the United Nations Conrod Cecil Hunte, Minister Counsellor of the Permanent Mission of Finland to the United Nations Nina Nordström, Second Secretary of the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Estonia to the United Nations Karin Kaup, Second Secretary of the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the United Nations Askar Zhumabayev, and Secretary of the UNICEF Executive Board Nicolas Pron. UNICEF Representative in Sri Lanka Reza Hossaini escorted the high-level delegation.

The delegation visited a variety of UNICEF-supported programmes throughout the country.

“A lot of times we find that countries that have a middle income status tend to drop off the priority list of UNICEF. In fact Sri Lanka illustrates why UNICEF needs to remain engaged… It is in these countries that lessons can be learnt in ways in which can be transferred to other, less developed, countries much more rapidly,” UNICEF quoted Ambassador Kamau as saying.  (