In his remarks Minister Rajapakshe congratulated the President of the General Assembly for convening the timely Forum noting that the present discussion will highlight the importance of full and effective implementation of the forward looking objectives States have collectively subscribed to through substantive General Assembly Resolutions for the past 20 years.
“Sri Lanka asserts and re-affirms its commitment to building a culture of peace, and recognizes the need for continuous support to further strengthen this global commitment,” the Minister said, flagging vital issues such as multilateralism, empowerment of women, national ownership, education, media and technological advances in fostering a culture of peace.
Dr. Rajapakshe also delivered the keynote address on 04 September at a Summit of Parliamentarians on the theme “The role of parliaments in promoting a culture of peace and implementing the Sustainable Development Goals” at the United Nations Head quarters organized by the Inter Parliamentary Coalition for Global Ethics and co-hosted by the Missions of Sri Lanka and Benin.
The Minister pointed out that when thinking about the role of parliaments in implementing the SDGs, we have to realize that there can be no development without peace and no peace without development. It is vital, he said, to understand the interlinkages between the seventeen SDGs and underpinning by Goal 16 on building peaceful, just, and inclusive societies. Similarly, the minister stressed, there can be no sustainable peace without the Rule of Law. In this regard the essence of Sustainable Development Goal 16 to promote the Rule of Law is not only a self-evident objective but also catalytic to all the Goals, he added.
The Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations Dr. Amrith Rohan Perera, in his welcome remarks at the Summit of Parliamentarians, noted that in Sri Lanka’s own reconciliation and peace building efforts and promoting a culture of peace, it has paid special emphasis on sensitizing the youth and children on the inherent values of a culture of peace, inculcating the value of empathy, inclusion, compassion and respecting the richness of diversity, which are critical ingredients of these efforts. Education Sector reforms with emphasis on a value based education is very much part of Sri Lanka’s ongoing reconciliation and peace building efforts, the ambassador further said.
During his visit to New York Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe paid a courtesy call on the President of the General Assembly and also participated in a roundtable discussion on the Culture of Peace at the United Nations together with several parliamentarians from Benin, Madagascar, Nigeria, Spain and France among others.