External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris yesterday reiterated Sri Lanka’s commitment to working constructively with the UN system and said it was absolutely vital to preserve and enhance the confidence of the world community in it.
He made these remarks at an event held to mark the 69th UN day where he assured that Sri Lanka had recognised the importance of the UN and therefore would continue to work actively with the UN system in a variety of ways.
“There is no substitute for the UN because the work done by it cannot possibly be done by anybody else,” the minister said and added that though the Sri Lankan Government had citicised the workings of certain sections of the UN, by and large the Government had noted that the UN was important and crucial for the wellbeing of humanity in the present times. “Since 1951, Sri Lanka has been actively engaging with the UN system in a variety of ways. I assure you that the Sri Lankan Government will continue to engage constructively with the UN in the years to come and this has been conveyed by the President to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon when we met him on the sidelines of the UNGA some weeks ago,” he said.
The minister said the UN’s relevance and importance had grown in current times more than it ever has in the past few decades but added that for the organisation to be truly effective in achieving its laudable goals, the system needed to remain in step with the times.
“I don’t think there is a difference in the fundamentals — those remain constant but the procedures and mechanisms need to be changed,” he added.
The minister said it was absolutely vital to preserve and enhance the confidence of the world community in the UN system and in that direction all stakeholders need to be satisfied and be able to view the system as just, fair and consistent where standards were applied in a uniform manner.
He said the system should be free of selectivity, subjectivism and politicisation and added that the vision of moral and ethical values held by the organisation’s founding fathers should not be tarnished in any way. “It is the faith and unremitting confidence of the world community that helps to uphold the UN system,” the minister said.
Meanwhile, UN Resident Coordinator in Sri Lanka Subinay Nandy who also spoke at the event commended Sri Lanka on the progress it had made in implementing Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) particularly with concern to the well-being and welfare of children and climate change. He noted with concern the need to enhance representation of women in governance and political structures as well as poverty and nutrition levels.
Mr. Nandy said the UN recognised Sri Lanka’s achievements in relation to resettlement, reconstruction and rehabilitation and that the UN counted on the country’s leadership and their commitment to keep reaching out to minorities and curb the incitement of violence with the aim of protecting all minority groups in Sri Lanka.
Source: Daily Mirror – Sri Lanka