Mrs. Samantha K. Jayasuriya presented Credentials to Ms. Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission of Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) in Bangkok, as the new Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka.
Welcoming the new Permanent Representative, Executive Secretary Alisjahbana, outlined the mandate of the ESCAP and the upcoming regular and main sessions and invited continued active participation of Sri Lanka.
Elaborating further on the three main areas in focus during the 2020 Commission Session in May, under the overarching theme of ‘Promoting economic, social and environmental cooperation on ocean for sustainable development,’ namely on sustainable maritime connectivity, fisheries and pollution free oceans, the Executive Secretary welcomed the interest of Sri Lanka to play a constructive role and to contribute to the deliberations.
While conveying the appreciation of the Government of Sri Lanka for the technical assistance and capacity building support that the ESCAP has been extending to Sri Lanka, the Permanent Representative also recalled that there were a number of Sri Lankans who have been providing their expertise and services to ESCAP either as consultants or employees.
As a country that has recently graduated to the upper middle income status, PR Jayasuriya said that Sri Lanka has taken keen interest in promoting mutual dialogue and collaboration among Member States to ensure maritime safety, particularly safe and peaceful navigation in the Indian Ocean, sustainable fishing, reducing ocean pollution etc.
Also, the country has enacted the Sustainable Development Act in 2017 and is incorporating SDGs in to its national policies she said. In this backdrop, she assured that Sri Lanka will look for more intense collaboration with the Commission in areas of mutual interest.
Second Secretary Ms. Saritha Ranatunga was associated with the Permanent Representative, while Mitch Hsieh, Secretary and Lorenzo Santucci, Deputy Secretary of the Commission joined the Executive Secretary at the Meeting.