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* Top UN official arrives in Sri Lanka to observe progress made in UN development programs
Sun, Feb 9, 2014, 01:53 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Feb 09, Colombo: Haoliang Xu, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General, Chair, United Nations Development Group Asia-Pacific and UNDP Assistant Administrator & Director, Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific arrived in Sri Lanka Saturday evening.

Mr. Xu was greeted by the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations in Sri Lanka Mr. Subinay Nandy on his arrival.

The visiting UN official said that he is looking forward to better understand the progress made in the first year of implementation of the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) for 2013-2017.

"UN's work in Sri Lanka has shifted largely towards more development-focused programs," the official said.

"While understanding the impressive progress made so far, I also look forward to better understanding the human development priorities of the country as well as how we as the United Nations could strengthen our support to achieve these priorities," Mr. Xu said.

Mr. Xu further added that his visit will in particular focus on UNDP's Programme in Sri Lanka, in the areas of access to justice, gender equality, socio-economic development, empowerment and disaster risk management.

During his three-day visit from February 9-12, Mr. Xu is expected to meet and exchange views with high-level Government officials, development partners and the civil society.

Mr. Xu will also engage in a policy dialogue with eminent economists and representatives from think-tanks on Sri Lanka's development outlook, and with a cross-section of women leaders on issues pertaining to gender-based violence in Sri Lanka, the UN office in Sri Lanka said in a release earlier.

Mr. Xu will also undertake a visit to the Northern Districts, where he will meet with Government officials, representatives from Community Based Organizations and beneficiaries and gain a first-hand understanding of the development priorities in the districts and further support needs. He will also visit UN/UNDP supported livelihood development projects on the ground.

Mr. Xus will also launch a key UNDP supported program, Strengthening Enforcement of Law, Access to Justice and Social Integration (SELAJSI). The Program is a joint initiative of Sri Lanka Ministry of National Languages and Social Integration, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms and the Ministry of Child Development and Women's Affairs, implemented to ensure that gains in the justice sector are institutionalized, systemized and scaled-up.

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