Mar 13, Colombo: Sri Lanka will be hosting the next International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP) from September 18- 21, 2014, with the opening ceremony scheduled to take place on September 19, a government media release said.
The preparations were finalized when the Secretary-General of the ICAPP Standing Committee Mr. Chung Eui-yong met President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees this afternoon.
As hosts, Sri Lanka was requested to select the main theme of the conference, which was decided to be "Building an Asian Community."
Approximately 100 different political parties from throughout Asia are expected to attend the high-level conference.
The invitation to host this year's ICAPP was made in July of last year. When Mr. Eui-yong met the President then, he said other ICAPP members were "very enthusiastic" about the possibility of Sri Lanka hosting the next conference.
"Sri Lanka is very strategically located for such a meeting," Mr. Eui-yong said during the meeting in July.
President Rajapaksa also addressed a special conference of ICAPP in Shaanxi Province during his state visit to China in May 2013. At that meeting as well, there was a focus placed on the need to strengthen the relationships between and among Asian nations.
The ICAPP, launched in Manila Philippines in 2000, brings together competing governing, opposition and independent political parties in Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, Central Asia, West Asia, Middle East and Oceania.
The conference inter alia aims to promote exchanges and cooperation between political parties from different countries in the area and with various ideologies in order to enhance mutual understanding and trust among Asian countries.
Ambassador of Korea in Sri Lanka Mr. Jongmoon Choi accompanied Mr. Eui-yong.
Minister of Health and the General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) Mr. Maithreepala Sirisena, Secretary to the President Mr. Lalith Weeratunga and Secretary of the Ministry of External Affairs Mrs. Kshenuka Seneviratne were also present.
(Photos by Nalin Hewapathirana)