Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera, speaking at the UN Day event held in Colombo today, said that the United Nations system has been in the forefront in drawing attention to the greatest problems faced by mankind, and helped lift large populations across the world out of poverty, promote democracy, take steps to make the world safer for children, draw communities across the world, closer, build strong partnerships and forge greater ties.
“Yet, the challenges before us in the world are daunting. Effects of climate change, conflict, refugees, rise of violent extremism and intolerance, threats to human rights, terrorism – all these and more pose considerable challenges,” he said.
Samaraweera said that it is his firm belief that no matter how hard it may seem or how challenging it may be, it is by upholding the values upon which the United Nations was founded – pluralism, human rights, respect for diversity, and the principle of working together – that the world can overcome the problems that it is faced with.
He says the United Nations must take the lead more and more to create awareness among the peoples that the planet is too small and the destinies too intertwined for human beings to not realise that while they respect diversity, they are ultimately one human family.
“We in Government value the work of the United Nations in Sri Lanka. We are pleased that the Secretary-General His Excellency Ban Ki-moon honoured the people of Sri Lanka by visiting us this year. The support that all of you provide us at this important time in our country’s history, is invaluable. I thank all of you in the UN Country Team in Sri Lanka for the dedication and commitment with which all of you work to support us in every conceivable field of importance to us in our quest of pursuing the goals of strengthening our democracy, forging reconciliation, ensuring equitable and inclusive economic development, and sustaining peace,” the Foreign Minister added.
The Foreign Minister extend Sri Lanka’s appreciation to the entire UN family across the world including the UN Peacekeepers who devote their lives to promoting international peace and security, development, combating disease, eradicating poverty and building a stronger United Nations. (Colombo Gazette)