Sept 20, New York: The United Nations extends its fullest support to Sri Lanka to move forward promoting unity among the communities, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has assured Sri Lankan President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.
Sri Lankan President was given this assurance when he met with the Secretary General at the United Nations Headquarters in New York yesterday (19), the President’s Media Unit said.
Mr. Guterres, who warmly welcomed the President at the United Nations Headquarters, reminisced about his visit to Sri Lanka in 1978 on behalf of the Inter-Parliamentary Union and his visits to Kandy, Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Trincomalee.
Mr. Guterres recalled his work regarding Sri Lanka as High Commissioner for Refugees to the United Nations and his meeting with the then President Mahinda Rajapaksa in 2006.
The Secretary-General noted that Sri Lanka, which has played a major social and economic role in the Indian Ocean region, is expected to continue to do so, despite the crisis that has plagued it for nearly 30 years.
President Rajapaksa said he was pleased to have the opportunity to discuss with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, and congratulated him on leading the United Nations during a difficult period the world is facing and for his second term as Secretary-General.
President Rajapaksa briefed the UN Secretary General on the challenges a country like Sri Lanka with a small economy is facing a in the face of the Covid epidemic.
President Rajapaksa spoke at length on the impact of the Covid epidemic on education and the economy of Sri Lanka and commended the World Health Organization (WHO) for its support in tackling the epidemic. The President pointed out that more than half of the total population has been fully vaccinated and that all arrangements have been made to fully vaccinate all those over the age of 15 before the end of November.
The Secretary General commended the progress made by Sri Lanka in vaccination.