September 23, 2016 Reading Time: 2 minutes
Reading Time: 2 min read
President Sirisena speaks at UN General Assembly
President Sirisena has addressed the 193 UN member states at the 71st General Assembly on 22 September. During his speech the President emphasised Sri Lanka’s dedication to reconciliation, and spoke of his administration’s aim to make Sri Lanka an exemplary democracy.
The President also highlighted that 2017 will be the year of poverty alleviation in Sri Lanka, and that the national development strategy of Sri Lanka will focus on building a ‘green’ and ‘innovations-based’ economy.
Navy Commander attends international naval conference
The Commander of the Navy, Ravindra Wijegunaratne, has attended the 22nd International Seapower Symposium in Rhode Island, USA. Over 110 international Navy Chiefs and Coast Guards attended the symposium, where they aimed to strengthen maritime partnerships.
Commander Wijegunaratne also met with the US Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral John M. Richardson, and the Commander of the US Pacific Fleet, Admiral Scott H. Swift. The possibility of enhancing relations between the Sri Lankan and US Navies was discussed at the meeting.
Sri Lanka enhances relations with the Republic of Korea
The Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade, Malik Samarawickrama, has met with several South Korean government officials to discuss Sri Lanka’s interest in a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with South Korea.
Minister Samarawickrama briefed the South Korean Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Strategy and Finance, Yoo Il-ho, on Sri Lanka’s economic policy, fiscal reforms, FTAs under negotiation, and industrial zones being developed to attract foreign investment. Minister Samarawickrama also met with the Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, Kang Ho-in, and encouraged the involvement of South Korea in Sri Lanka’s Megapolis and Western Development programme.
EU accepts Bosnia and Herzegovina’s membership application
The EU has accepted Bosnia and Herzegovina’s application to join the union, based on the sufficient progress made in implementing necessary reforms. The EU has called on the country to continue implementing reforms in the areas of socio-economics, law, and public administration.
The EU has also called on the European Commission to monitor the implementation of a 2009 European Court of Human Rights ruling, to ensure that ethnicities other than Serbs, Bosniaks and Croats can run for high office.
UN Security Council adopts resolution to counter terrorist threats
The UN Security Council has adopted Resolution 2309 (2016) to protect the global aviation system. UN member states have been encouraged to work within the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to effectively implement the standards and recommended practices of the ICAO.
The Council has also urged UN member states to enhance international and regional cooperation in information-sharing, border control, law enforcement and criminal justice to counter aviation terrorism.
Syrian army launches offensive in Aleppo
Syria has launched an offensive on the rebel held areas of Aleppo. The official statement declaring the offensive urged civilians to avoid areas in which rebels were operating, and requested that they travel to Syrian government checkpoints for safety.
US Secretary of State, John Kerry, and the Foreign Minister of Russia, Sergey Lavrov, met on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly to discuss peace in Syria, however the meeting was inconclusive.