The Sri Lankan government says the Commonwealth must strive to bring tangible benefits to its member states.
Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in New York Dr. Palitha Kohona said that in the long run, it is tangible benefits that will keep the Commonwealth members together.
“Although ideas and values are important, tangible benefits will be the glue that will bind us together as a family,” the External Affairs Ministry quoted him as saying.
He said this at the Commonwealth Day Reception hosted by Sri Lanka, Australia and the United Kingdom at the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations in New York. The event was graced by the UN Secretary General, H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-Moon.
The Permanent Representative of Australia, Gary Quinlan, during his address said that the Commonwealth is a powerful mechanism, and is distinct from any other organization.
“While a common history unites us, it is the Commonwealth’s distinct desire to uphold democracy, human rights, and the rule of law that guides us”. “The Commonwealth comprises of 54 member states, of which, only 4 are developed countries. The rest are still developing”. He reminded us of the critical disparities between the developed and developing Commonwealth.
Heads of Missions and other diplomats from the Commonwealth family attended the event. A number of senior UN officials, including the UNDP Administrator, USG for Peacekeeping Operations, the USG for Disarmament Affairs, the Spokesperson for the Secretary General and the SRSG for Children and Armed Conflict were also present. (Colombo Gazette)