The President of the United Nations General Assembly, Miroslav Laj?ák, has referred to Sri Lanka’s peace building efforts during both the opening and closing remarks of the High Level Meeting on Peace building and Sustaining Peace. He cited Sri Lanka as a successful example of how civil society could collaborate with the government on peace building, according to the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the UN in New York.
He cited the work of Mrs. Vishaka Dharmadasa, as an example of how an individual can contribute to a country’s peace building initiatives and also cited an example of how Sri Lanka’s civil society made a contribution to the government’s efforts on drafting a reconciliation/peace building program me for the country. Speaking at the meeting, held at the UN Headquarters from April 24 – 26, Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Rohan Perera highlighted the initiatives undertaken by the Government of Sri Lanka on reconciliation and peace building in the country.
In the course of his statement, Ambassador Perera emphasized the importance of prevention of conflicts, as reflected in the Secretary General’s Report on Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace, as a factor that would save countless lives and resources that could otherwise be utilized for a country’s development. He also stressed the importance of ensuring predictable and sustained funding for peacebuilding initiatives through the Peacebuilding Fund, which were crucial for reconciliation and peacebuilding efforts of countries such as Sri Lanka.
Dr. Perera highlighted the collaboration between Sri Lanka and the Peace building Support Office, as an example of a fruitful partnership on peace building between a Member State and the United Nations. In his intervention at the Third Interactive Session of the High Level Meeting regarding Strategic Partnerships with the United Nations for Peace building and Sustaining Peace, Ambassador Perera focused on the importance Sri Lanka places upon inclusivity in the peacebuilding process, particularly by engaging all relevant stakeholders such as women, youth and civil society. Sri Lanka’s efforts of engaging the Diaspora in peace building initiatives was also highlighted, the statement said.
The Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka also chaired a segment of the first Plenary Session of the High Level meeting on Peace building and Sustaining Peace on 24th April 2018, in the capacity of Vice President of the General Assembly. On the fringes of the High Level Meeting, Sri Lanka co-sponsored a side event on the “Role of Education in Peace building and Sustaining Peace” on 26th April 2018 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, together with the Permanent Missions of Costa Rica and Bangladesh and the University of Peace and the Nippon Foundation.
During the event, Ambassador Perera served as a panelist and drew attention to the efforts of the Government of Sri Lanka to include education within the peacebuilding and reconciliation architecture of Sri Lanka and highlighted the initiatives adopted by the civil society, most particularly youth, to complement the efforts of the Government on peacebuilding and reconciliation.
Several panelists at the event too made positive references to Sri Lanka’s peacebuilding initiatives, the statement said.