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* 'We need to act before we extinguish ourselves'- Chandrika Kumaratunga
Wed, Feb 20, 2019, 09:46 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Feb 20, Colombo: Sri Lanka's former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga says the developed countries as well as developing countries need to make a commitment to protect the environment and build inclusive societies to achieve a secure and sustainable world.

"We cannot have sustainable development without protecting the environment," former Sri Lankan leader said at the World Sustainable Development Summit 2019.

Kumaratunga, a member of the World Leadership Alliance-Club de Madrid, addressed a leadership panel on 'A Vision for a Secure and Sustainable World for All' on Day 2 of the World Sustainable Development Summit 2019 held from 11th - 13th February 2019 in New Delhi, India.

In the panel moderated by Prodipto Ghosh, Distinguished Fellow, TERI, the former Sri Lankan leader spoke about the need for an all-inclusive for society and the world.

She said the 'Vision for a Secure and Sustainable World for All' hinges on two major factors - one respect for nature and the second respect and concern for people."

With regards to climate change and sustainable development, the former President talked about the need to see the bigger picture while making decisions, rather than immediate convenience, and for development to be an all-inclusive process that does not alienate, but involve.

She said all development projects, and planning that goes into projects have to take serious note of protection of nature, the environment.

Kumaratunga said Sri Lanka suffered two major tragedies- one, the 2004 tsunami due to the climate change and the other - the war due to the failure of the Sri Lankan state to build an inclusive society.

Former Sri Lankan President said that if governments do not take enough responsibility, non-governmental organizations, civil society, political parties and others need to force them to do so, "before we extinguish ourselves".

The World Sustainable Development Summit (WSDS) is the annual flagship event of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI). TERI in its journey of seventeen years has become a focal point for global leaders and practitioners to congregate at a single platform to discuss and deliberate over climatic issues of universal importance.

The Summit series has emerged as the premier international event on sustainability which focusses on the global future, but with an eye on the actions in the developing world which could bend our common future.

Watch the video of former President Kumaratunga's address


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