United Nations in Sri Lanka marks 66th UN Day
As the UN and its member states mark 66 years since the UN Charter came into being, promoting a world of peace, equality and development, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged the world to “unite, seven billion strong, in the name of the global common good”.
Marking the occasion locally, the UN in Sri Lanka held a reception for its partners where the UN Resident Coordinator recognized Sri Lanka’s Contribution to the UN system. Since 2000, more than 14,000 Sri Lankan peacekeeping troops have been deployed to serve in nine countries and many distinguished Sri Lankans have also served with the UN, including at the level of Under Secretary General.
The UN Resident Coordinator also thanked the international community for providing over $600 million to support UN activities in Sri Lanka since 2008.
During the last year, this support has been directed towards resettlement and recovery in the former conflict affected areas, response to the 2011 floods and promotion of the MDGs, especially at the local level. The UN has also been working with national partners to address new challenges such as ageing, the spread of on-communicable diseases and climate change.
Gracing the occasion as the Chief Guest, Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne launched the 7 billion campaign by signing a world map as one of 7 billion.
During his statement, he spoke of Sri Lanka’s unwavering commitment to the foundations of the UN Charter and the mutually beneficial partnership existing between the UN and the Government.
He went on to explain how the UN is in a unique position to support common action to address today’s challenges including financial instability and climate change.
In line with the theme of this year’s UN Day, ‘The Ways the United Nations Makes a Difference in Everyday Life’, an exhibition showcased the continuum of the UN’s work in Sri Lanka from emergency response, to fighting poverty and disease, ensuring access to education, empowerment of women, sustainable livelihoods, and mitigation of climate change impacts.
Looking to the future, the UN Resident Coordinator noted that with the end of the war now more than two years behind us, the work of the United Nations in Sri Lanka is itself in the midst of a transition. He encouraged the UN and partners to work together, with an emphasis on shared values, to promote a prosperous future and the creation of a society where every Sri Lankan finds their place.