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Statement by President of Sri Lanka at the United Nations Summit on Biodiversity
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Commerce Phumtham Wechayachai of the Kingdom of Thailand joins as Guest of Honour at Celebrations of the 76th Anniversary of Sri Lanka’s Independence at the Siam Society under the Royal Patronage in Bangkok on 09th February 2024

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Commerce Phumtham Wechayachai of the Kingdom of Thailand joins as Guest of Honour at Celebrations of the 76th Anniversary of Sri Lanka’s Independence at the Siam Society under the Royal Patronage in Bangkok on 09th February 2024

After signing Sri Lanka – Thailand Free Trade Agreement (SLTFTA) on 3 rd February 2024 in Colombo, and making new era of Sri Lanka – Thailand bilateral relations, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Commerce Phumtham Wechayachai, joined as Guest of Honour at Celebrations of Sri Lanka’s 76th Anniversary of Independence in Bangkok held at the Siam Society under the Royal Patronage in Bangkok on 09 th February 2024 organized by the Embassy and Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka in Thailand.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin successfully concludes Official Visit to Sri Lanka, 3-4 February 2024

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin successfully concludes Official Visit to Sri Lanka, 3-4 February 2024

Prime Minister Thavisin was in Sri Lanka on an invitation extended by President Ranil Wickremesinghe, to participate at the 76th Anniversary celebrations of Sri Lanka’s Independence as Guest of Honour and to witness the signing of the Sri Lanka – Thailand Free Trade Agreement (SLTFTA). In addition, both parties renewed the Air Services Agreement which was originally signed in 1950 and entered into a MoU on cooperation in the Gems and Jewellery sector. The Prime Minister was accompanied by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Commerce, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Permanent Secretary of Foreign Affairs and other senior dignitaries of the Thai Government and a high-level business delegation.

Statement by H.E. Gotabaya Rajapaksa, President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka at the United Nations Summit on Biodiversity , 30 September 2020

We are committed to protect and sustainably manage natural resources – President tells UN Biodiversity Summit

The Government of Sri Lankan is committed to protect and sustainably manage natural resources, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said addressing the United Nations Summit on Biodiversity today (30).

“Sri Lanka is home to two UNESCO Natural Heritage Sites: the Central Highlands, and the Sinharaja Rain Forest Reserve. We are also proud of our six sites recognized under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. Sri Lanka firmly stands committed to protect and sustainably manage these natural assets that contribute to our unique and rich biodiversity” President Rajapaksa told the virtual gathering held under the theme of Urgent action on biodiversity for sustainable development”.

The Summit will highlight the crisis facing humanity from the degradation of biodiversity and the urgent need to accelerate action on biodiversity for sustainable development. It will provide an opportunity for Heads of State and Government and other leaders to raise ambition for the development of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework to be adopted at the 15th Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in 2021.

Emphasizing that the concept of biodiversity must be at the very core of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, President Rajapaksa pointed out that despite the rapid decline seen in biodiversity globally, over the recent decades, Sri Lanka is deeply committed to uphold the overarching spirit of the Convention on Biodiversity.

“There is a critical need for a transformational change in the relationship between nature and people and contemporary global environmental governance,” he remarked.

The ancient governance of Sri Lanka was built on the concept that the ruler is never the owner of the land; he is merely its caretaker on behalf of his countrymen and all living beings. This is the very principle that my Government has adopted in our development agenda said the President while stressing as mere trustees of this planet and its resources we must resolve to protect what is in our trust and pass it to future generations as best as we could.

Full text of the speech:

Mr. President,
Mr. Secretary General,
Excellencies,
Distinguished Delegates,

Ayubowan !

I am deeply honoured to represent the people of Sri Lanka at this High-Level Summit on Biodiversity.

The concept of biodiversity must be at the very core of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

Despite the rapid decline seen in biodiversity globally, over the recent decades, Sri Lanka is deeply committed to uphold the overarching spirit of the Convention on Biodiversity.

There is a critical need for a transformational change in the relationship between nature and people and contemporary global environmental governance.

Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates,
As a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, Sri Lanka endorsed the Commonwealth Blue Charter in 2018 and as such we will champion the Commonwealth Blue Charter Action Group on Mangrove Ecosystems and Livelihoods.

Further, the Colombo Declaration on Sustainable Nitrogen Management was adopted last year. We as world leaders, must better manage nitrogen, ensuring the sustenance of humankind.

Sri Lanka is home to two UNESCO Natural Heritage Sites: the Central Highlands, and the Sinharaja Rain Forest Reserve. We are also proud of our six sites recognized under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.

Sri Lanka firmly stands committed to protect and sustainably manage these natural assets that contribute to our unique and rich biodiversity.

We have been mindful of conserving ecosystems to the highest extent possible, even during the redesigning of cities and urban areas. The wetland parks that we have created in cities, especially in and around our Capital Sri Jayawardhanapura Kotte, are home to an array of plant and animal species, offering a ‘mini-rainforest experience’ within crowded cities.

The ancient governance of Sri Lanka was built on the concept that the ruler is never the owner of the land; he is merely its caretaker on behalf of his countrymen and all living beings. This is the very principle that my Government has adopted in our development agenda.

Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates,
As mere trustees of this planet and its resources we must resolve to protect what is in our trust and pass it to future generations as best as we could.

Thank you.

President’s Media Division
30.09.2020

mfa.gov.lk/