Oct 02, New York: Sri Lanka told the UN General Assembly Monday that "unhelpful" external pressures that supported partisan interests could derail initiatives that had produced peace in the country.
Addressing the 67th UN General Assembly Monday, Sri Lanka's External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris said that no one has greater commitment to reconciliation in an all-inclusive spirit than the Government and the external pressures could derail the recognition process.
Noting that Sri Lanka's accomplishments were remarkable, considering that many developing nations continued to struggle for equitable social development, Minister Peiris said Sri Lanka was always ready to share its experience with others.
In that context, he said, Sri Lanka is expanding its engagement in Africa, especially in the areas of trade and investment.
Highlighting Sri Lanka's domestic successes, the Minister said that Sri Lanka's absolute poverty dropped to 7.6 percent in 2011 from 15.2 percent in 2005 and the government is continuing its economic development programs to ensure equal distribution of the benefits to all communities.
Sri Lanka, he said, supports all multilateral efforts to enhance peace and security, and eliminate all forms of terrorism. The government, which ended the terrorist challenge three years ago largely through its own efforts, is now committed to redressing the grievances of all parties affected by its internal conflict, he added.
"Progress on the ground over the last three years vis-á-vis the resettlement of internally displaced persons, reintegration of ex-combatants and unprecedented focus on infrastructure had invigorated the economy of the country as a whole, and the Northern Province in particular," Minister Peiris noted.
Speaking on the contributions of the UN for resolving disputes, the Minister said Sri Lanka firmly upheld the tenets of peaceful coexistence, mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, and non-interference in internal State affairs.
Prof. Peiris also stressed that any strategy by developed nations to recover from the global financial meltdown must not impose unjustifiable burdens on developing nations whose voices must be heard in global discussions on such matters.
"There was no one-size-fits-all approach and the experiences of newly emerging economies also must be taken into account," the Minister told the Assembly.
On other matters, he pressed developed nations to deliver on pledges to assist developing countries in arresting climate change, stressing the need to identify common policies for achieving social goals and protecting the environment.
Noting that the restoration of the rights of Palestinians was a long-standing issue that required collective attention, the Minister said Sri Lanka supported the implementation of all United Nations resolutions on Palestine that would pave the way to statehood for its people.