Sri Lanka became a member of the United Nation’s Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific on 10 December 1954. Since its founding in 1947, the membership of the Economic and Social Commission has grown to 53 members and 9 associate members as of date. The Sri Lanka Embassy in Bangkok represents the country as the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the UNESCAP, and the Permanent Representative is a member of the Advisory Committee of Permanent Representatives (ACPR).
H.E Mrs. Samantha K. Jayasuriya presented Credentials to H.E. Ms. Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission (UNESCAP) in Bangkok, as the new Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka on 27 August 2019. More:
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 endeavors of the Commission. (Full statement)
Sri Lanka has been active in the work of the ESCAP and has given leadership to various Committee and Working Group Sessions. During the period 2019/2020 the Mission has contributed proactively in a number of sessions;
Permanent Representative Ambassador Samantha K. Jayasuriya was elected as Vice Chair of the second session of the Committee on Poverty Reduction and Financing for Development (MPFD), held from 6-8 November 2019 – the Committee discussed holistic and integrated approaches that can facilitate mainstreaming the Sustainable Development Goals into policymaking and promoting inclusive and sustainable economic policies. The deliberations also focused on the importance of strong fiscal positions, which are backed by effective domestic tax systems and robust regional tax cooperation, to finance the investments needed to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals. The session deliberated on the special needs of the SIDS.
As the Chair of the Open Ended Working Group of the Review of the Commission Structure from December 2019-March 2020. Sri Lankan Permanent Representative presented the report to the 76th UNESCAP. The Ad hoc Working Group has been deliberating on effective ways of restructuring the work of commission in line with the review of the HLPF. As part of this engagement the WG also had an online meeting with one of the Co-Chairs of the ECOSOC Pane on reforms.
Sri Lankan was elected as the Chair of the 6th Session of the Committee on Social Development in Oct 2020. The Committee adopted an Action Plan to strengthen Regional Cooperation on Social Protection in Asia and the Pacific and Asia-Pacific Indicator Framework for monitoring progress towards the implementation of the programme of action of the International Conference on Population and Development and of commitments contained in the Asian and Pacific Ministerial Declaration on Population and Development. More..
Sri Lanka was elected to the Governing Council of the Asian and Pacific Centre for Transfer of Technology (APCTT) for the term 2020-2023
Sri Lanka joined in co-sponsoring two resolutions at the 76th Commission of the ESCAP in May 2020 on Regional Cooperation to address the socio-economic effects of pandemic and crises in Asia and the Pacific and strengthening cooperation to promote the conservation and sustainable use of the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific.
Given the cordial working relations with the ESCAP Sri Lanka has been able to receive technical expertise of different Committees of the ESCAP, and for example, exchanges of comments/views took place regarding the Working Group to Study the current status of implementation and progress in relation to the 2020 Agenda For SDGs in Sri Lanka. A capacity gap analysis visit to the Census and Statistics Department of Sri Lanka by UNESCAP experts took place and the National Statistical Review is expected to be launched in year 2020. Strengthening Public Private Partnership (PPP) of Ministry of Finance, Sri Lanka is another area of work in progress.
Considering the importance of preventing rod accident related deaths and disability, Sri Lanka submitted a proposal to the UN Secretary General’s Road Safety Fund and working closely with the Transport Division to become a pilot country on a project to shift towards “stainable freight transport”. The outcome is expected to help GOSL with recommendations for its consideration on developing dry port logistic hub in Sri Lanka. An online consultation is expected between Sri Lankan experts and Transport Division experts following the conclusion of upcoming Committee on Transport.
The APTA member countries cover a total population of about 2.5 billion, and aims to promote economic development through the adoption of mutually beneficial trade liberalization measures to expand intra-regional trade and economic integration. The 57th Session of the APTA standing committee meeting will be held in a future date and requires necessary follow-up. More..