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Intervention by the Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the ESCAP at 383rd ACPR, 22 August 2019, 0930-1200 hrs

Mr. Chairperson,
Madam Executive Secretary,
Secretary to the Commission,
Distinguished Permanent Representatives of the Member States and delegates

Thank you very much for the very warm welcome and introduction, and I am pleased to be with you today at this 383rd Session of the Advisory Committee of Permanent Representatives (ACPR) of the Commission, and wish to share my preliminary thoughts on how Sri Lanka intends to continue to work towards the common endeavours of the Commission. At the outset, I express my unwavering commitment and support to you Madam Secretary-General, as you support all of us towardsachieving the objectives set by Member States in this Commission to boost the mutual cooperation in ensuring sustainable development, and socio cultural cohesion within and among our nations. It is a great honourpersonally for me to join hands with you all, Excellencies-the PRs, and delegates, as I embark on my new tour of duty as Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to ESCAP, immediately after completion of a tenure of nearly 5 years, as the Deputy Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations in Geneva.

I believe with your support, my future tenure here in Bangkok as the Permanent Representative to the UNESCAP will undoubtedly turn to be a rich experience, furthering the strong and cordial partnership that my country, Sri Lanka has been enjoying with the Commission and with your individual countries bilaterally.

The UNESCAP being a dynamic regional platform to promote cooperation among countries of the region to achieve inclusive and sustainable development has always provided very useful opportunities for local authorities in Sri Lanka, in improving technical knowhow and building capacities in their endeavoursof achieving the SDGs. I wish to acknowledge it and thank UNESCAP for all its technical support and capacity building efforts for Sri Lanka over the years. In the same vain, we stand ready to share mutual experiences and best practices from Sri Lanka for the benefit of our regional partners.

Taking note that the UN General Assembly in September this year will be endorsing proactive engagement by Regional Commissions like ESCAP, entrusting them to play a more dedicated role in the implementation of certain key aspects, including in the implementation, follow-up and review of the Global Compact on Migration and also action on addressing climate vulnerabilities, disaster risk reduction to achieving SDGs, Sri Lanka which recently gained upper middle income status, will look for more intense collaboration with the Commission in areas of mutual interest.

I will ensure to keep the good tradition of regular engagements with the Commission as the way Sri Lanka has been contributing to almost all main sessions and related events in the UNESCAP. Given its strategic location in Indian Ocean, and strong belief in realizing Goal 14 of SDG’s, Sri Lanka is looking forward to actively collaborate during the 76th Session of the Commission in 2020,on ‘Promoting economic, social and environmental cooperation on ocean for sustainable development’.

In conclusion, I wish to reiterate my personal commitment for active and productive participation of Sri Lanka in ESCAP work.Thank you very much again, for the warm welcome and I wish you all Excellencies, distinguished delegates the very best for the future endeavors within the UNESCAP.

Thank you.