Jun 20, Rio de Janeiro: The economic development model of developing nations must respect the environment, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa told the world leaders Wednesday at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD), Rio+20 in Rio de Janeiro.
Addressing the United Nations largest conference on green economy and sustainable development, President Rajapaksa said the developed countries which largely contributed to the environmental crisis cannot and should not leave the responsibility of saving the environment to developing nations at the cost of their development.
The policies set for environment by developed countries must not hinder the growth of developing nations, the President said, adding that pushing various barriers and setting standards of environment will hamper developing nations in achieving economic growth.
Sri Lanka, he said, has applied concept of sustainable development as far back as 2000 year ago and achieved remarkable results.
"Respect for forest and all human beings is deeply rooted in our life," he said.
A country's natural resources belong to that country and other countries have no right to encroachment and such practices as deep sea bed fishing must be stopped, the President said.
"All nations must recognize the principle of not abusing the environment," he emphasized.
Sri Lanka is on its way to full economic development and has been able to weather international economic shocks, the President noted adding that many investment opportunities are flourishing in the country.
Watch President's Speech
The President arrived in Brazil Tuesday following a successful three-day tour in Cuba, The Sri Lankan delegation headed by the President was warmly welcomed at the Pisa Galileo Galilei International Airport in Brazil. Sri Lankan Ambassador in Brazil Mahinda Balasuriya, Permanent Representative to the UN in New York Dr. Palitha Kohona and the Embassy Staff welcomed President.
World leaders from over 130 countries participate in the Rio+20 summit from June 20 -22 in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. The Conference will focus on two themes- a green economy in the context of sustainable development poverty eradication and the institutional framework for sustainable development.
The Rio+20 will highlight seven areas which need priority attention including decent jobs, energy, sustainable cities, food security and sustainable agriculture, water, oceans and disaster readiness.
The President will also hold bilateral meetings with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of Nepal Baburam Bhattarai, Bhutan Prime Minister Lyonpo Jigme Thinley, President of Chile Sebastian Pinera Echenique and several other leaders on the sidelines of the Rio Conference.
Sri Lanka will also hold a side event on "Strengthening National Apex Bodies of Sustainable Development (SD)" at the Rio+20 conference on Thursday (June 21). The event will showcase good practices, and identify ways to strengthen national implementation through new initiatives for capacity building, south-south exchange and enhanced sub regional cooperation.
Read President's Speech
(Photos by Sudath Silva)