On 2nd September, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, delivered a speech that discussed the links between peace and sustainable development in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon discussed the challenges facing the United Nations, and highlighted the key successes achieved during his leadership. These included the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, the Paris Agreement and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda – an inclusive global agenda that aims to end poverty while sustaining ecosystems and resources.
The Secretary-General’s speech highlighted Sustainable Development Goal 16 on promoting peace, justice and strong institutions. Goal 16 demands action against corruption and crime, while holding governments accountable, and supporting inclusivity, equality and human rights. He emphasised the importance of the role of women, and encouraged their further involvement in parliament and cabinet, and in reconciliation and sustainable development initiatives.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon congratulated Sri Lanka’s significant progress, with particular reference to the passing of the 19th Constitutional Amendment in 2015 and the recent Right to Information Act. He further commended Sri Lanka’s transitional justice and constitutional reform efforts, before concluding with the reassurance of the United Nations’ support of Sri Lanka’s future developments.
The event began with an opening address delivered by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Mangala Samaraweera, and the Secretary-General’s speech was complemented by a panel of speakers. The panel consisted of Mr. Mano Tittawella – Secretary General of the Secretariat for Coordinating Reconciliation Mechanisms, Dr. Rohan Fernando – Director of Aitken Spence, and Dr. Dinusha Panditaratne – Executive Director of the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute.
LKI would like to thank the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the UN in Sri Lanka for all their assistance with this event.