The Government says it will continue to honour the United Nations Organisation and its work and also engage with the United Nations, and its systems and procedures.
Foreign Secretary Prasad Kariyawasam, speaking at the 72nd United Nations Day held at the UN compound in Colombo today, said that Sri Lanka’s relationship with the UN is at present, probably at the best it has ever been.
“The United Nations is the organisation that we, the Member States, created, following two devastating world wars. The promise that was made in the Charter that came into effect on 24th October 1945, was to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, and uphold instead, respect for dialogue, diplomacy, international cooperation and an international rules-based-system,” he said.
Kariyawasam said that having almost driven itself to self-isolation, the people of Sri Lanka once again took destiny into their hands, and took the bold step, through democratic means, on the 8th of January 2015, to bring the nation back from the depths of isolation onto respectability on the international stage.
“Shedding divisive practices, and futile arguments that we were engaged in with the international community, we stood up once again with confidence to take responsibility for all our citizens, and to recommit to upholding the values and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations,” he said.
The Foreign Secretary said that the United Nations exists and works for “We the Peoples” and has been in the forefront in drawing attention to the greatest problems faced by mankind.
“It has helped lift populations across the world out of poverty. It has helped promote democracy, and make the world safer for children, women, and the vulnerable. It has helped draw communities across the world, closer, and it has helped build strong partnerships and forge greater ties. Of course, the challenges before us in the world seem daunting. Effects of climate change, conflict, refugees, rise of violent extremism and intolerance, threats to human rights, terrorism. We see “we the people” suffer as a result of these human-made phenomena on a daily basis around the world. Yes, these do pose considerable challenges. Yet, it is my 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 we can overcome the problems that the world is faced with,” he added.
He also said that the United Nations must take the lead to create awareness among people and inspire people that we are ultimately one human family, and that we must work together for the benefit of all. (Colombo Gazette)