The President arrived at the venue accompanied by First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa amidst beating of Magul Bera (auspicious drums).
After lighting of the the traditional oil lamp the opening remarks were delivered by Ms. Jayathma Wickramanayake (Sri Lanka UN Youth Delegate 2012/Sri Lanka). She said that the youth delegates will be representing two billion of young people not only in Sri Lanka but over the globe who are left voiceless.
The United Nations General Assembly President Dr. John W. Ashe and UN Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth Ahmad Al Hindawi also spoke.
Thereafter launching of the theme song took place with the participation of Bathiya, Santhush and a group of artistes. The guests also joined the group with much enthusiasm.
President Rajapaksa addressing the gathering said "You would agree that the increasingly large youth population, who live in the global South, makes it impossible to discuss any follow-up to Rio+20 and the Post-2015 development Agenda, without considering their needs and challenges. The Youth of today face an enhanced burden. They need to find a living for themselves, as well as, increasingly care for an ageing population. To ignore this growing trend would entail unmanageable problems for policy makers, national leaders, and the global community alike."
"Having said that, I wish to appeal to all of you, the young people who represent the world, to regard your country, as sacred. It cannot be second to any of your interests; nor can it be sacrificed for any gain whatsoever. There may be outside pressures to compromise your love for your country but all such pressures must be resisted at any cost. Only then, can we build a better world for all of us without destroying the cultures, traditions, customs, that we are heirs to", said the President and invited all to join him on Twitter for discussions on Thursday.