Sri Lanka has resolved to positively engage with the United Nations with a renewed vigour to further the existing relations and to resume its position as a responsible member of the international community, Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Rohan Perera said.
He said that like in relations among states, the relations between Sri Lanka and the United Nations have also undergone ups and downs over the years.
The Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka in New York yesterday celebrated the 60th anniversary of the admission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations with an archival photographic exhibition, which was followed by a breakfast reception.
Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) was admitted to the United Nations on 14th December 1955 along with Albania, Austria, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Laos, Libya, Nepal, Portugal, Romania, and Spain, following its application to join the Organization in 1948.
The archival photographic exhibition that illustrated the key milestones of Sri Lanka-UN relations since 1955, were held at the Permanent Mission premises with the participation of the Permanent Representatives of the fifteen countries that were admitted to the United Nations along with Sri Lanka sixty years ago, as well as senior UN officials.
Making his welcome remarks at the event, Ambassador Rohan Perera gave a brief account of the excellent relations that Sri Lanka has been maintaining with the United Nations as an active member of the Organization. He elaborated on the significant role that Sri Lanka has been playing since its admission to the United Nations, including as a member of the Security Council and a leading contributor of troops to UN peacekeeping operations, and how the Organization has, in turn, contributed to the socio-economic development in Sri Lanka.
Ambassador Perera also gave an account of the prominent Sri Lankan diplomats who have held many a high position in the United Nations including that of the Presidency of the General Assembly, the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea, as well as the important resolutions that Sri Lanka has successfully proposed and piloted through the General Assembly including on the Indian Ocean Peace Zone, International Year for Shelter for Homeless, the international recognition of the Day of Vesak , and the World Youth Skills Day.
Ambassador Rohan Perera further observed that like in relations among states, the relations between Sri Lanka and the United Nations have also undergone ups and downs over the years, in particular during the past few years. However, with the changes in the Sri Lankan political landscape, Sri Lanka has resolved to positively engage with the United Nations with a renewed vigour to further the existing relations and to resume its position as a responsible member of the international community. He added “we are committed to the ideal of decency and mutual respect in dealings among nations, to the protection and promotion of human rights and preserving the dignity of all people, irrespective of race, gender, colour or creed”.
Ambassador Rohan Perera later participated in a luncheon jointly hosted by the Permanent Representatives of the said sixteen countries in honour of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, to mark the 60th anniversary of their joint admission to the United Nations.
A short video documentary on “Sri Lanka’s sixty years in the United Nations” produced by the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation, was also screened on this occasion. (Colombo Gazette)