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    Sri Lanka – Star Attraction at G-77 Golden Jubilee Celebrations

    July 03, 2014

    Sri Lanka led the commemoration of the Group of 77 in Vienna as the Group marked the 50th Anniversary of its establishment, with celebrations at the Vienna International Centre from 23rd to 27th  June 2014.

     

    The week long celebrations included several cultural performances from Member States of the G-77, a food festival and a charity event. To mark this anniversary, the G-77 in Vienna also launched the first issue of its newsletter. A tombola raffle was conducted, with an air ticket to Sri Lanka on offer as the first prize, arranged by the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka.

    Cultural activities featured Sri Lankan drummers and dancers from the National Youth Services Council, sponsored by the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Skills Development. The Sri Lanka Cultural Troupe was the star attraction in a theatre of multifaceted performances by articles from several G-77 countries.  An evening of classical music marking both the 50th anniversary of the G-77 and the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Austria and Sri Lanka also took place at House of Music in Vienna on 24th June 2014.  Internationally renowned Sri Lankan pianist Shani Diluka and Austrian cellist Valentin Erben captivated the audience, which included Austrian and UN officials, business community and the diplomatic corps.

     

    The inaugural commemorative event on 23rd June was addressed by Yury Fedotov, Director General of the United Nations Office in Vienna (UNOV) and Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), LI Yong, Director General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO).

     

    All speakers underlined the continued relevance of G-77 as the collective voice of the global South on issues of vital importance for developing countries.  The constructive role that the G-77 could play in the elaboration of the post- 2015 Development Agenda, following the adoption of the Santa Cruz Declaration at the Special Summit of the G-77 held in Bolivia on 14 – 15 June 2014 was highlighted.  Sri Lanka’s Chairmanship of the Group of G-77 & China in the first half of 2014 marking the 50th anniversary was also highly praised.

     

    Ambassador A L A Azeez, Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative and Chair of G-77 Vienna Chapter recalled the contribution that Sri Lanka has made towards the multilateral processes including through the G-77. He emphasized that the 50th anniversary was a unique opportunity to rally around causes which are of special concern to developing countries. He thanked the diplomatic community, the United Nations Office in Vienna and the international organizations, as well as the Organizing Committee for their active support and contribution to make the commemorative programme a success.

     

    The valedictory event of the commemorative programme was held on 27th June 2014.  It was addressed by Dr. Kandeh Yumkella, UN Secretary General’s Special Representative   for Sustainable Energy for All.  A cultural programme by Sri Lankan dancers and drummers was followed by a G-77 reception attended by many delegates, UN officials and other guests.(SI)

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