October 25, 2016 Reading Time: 2 minutes
Reading Time: 2 min read
Foreign Minister commends UN’s work in Sri Lanka
The 71st United Nations Day celebrations were held in Colombo on 24 October. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mangala Samaraweera, noted the positive work of the UN agencies in Sri Lanka, and emphasised the importance of ‘upholding the values upon which the United Nations was founded’ to overcome global issues.
The celebrations also marked the launch of the 70-60 campaign website, which aims to increase public awareness of the long-standing partnership between Sri Lanka and the UN.
Danish business delegation to visit Sri Lanka
A high-level business delegation comprising 15 firms from Denmark, is expected to visit Sri Lanka on 1-4 November. Officials from the Danish Embassy to India and Sri Lanka, based in New Delhi, will join the delegation, including Danish Ambassador Peter Taksøe-Jensen.
The delegation plans to engage with the business community of Sri Lanka to assess investment opportunities in water, energy, and infrastructure. It will also hold discussions with the European Chamber of Commerce Sri Lanka and the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka.
UNICEF Representative assumes office
The new Representative for UNICEF in Sri Lanka, Tim Sutton, has presented his credentials to Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera, on 24 October.
On assuming office, Mr. Sutton highlighted the country’s opportunity for peace and prosperity, emphasising the need to engage with youth to achieve these aims. He added that he looked forward to ‘working closely with the people and the Government of Sri Lanka to deliver a sustainable, positive change for children’.
Russia to cooperate on easing oil production
The Russian Minister of Energy, Alexander Novak, has met with representatives of the government of Saudi Arabia and with major oil producers, at the Gulf Cooperation Council conference in Riyadh. The parties discussed means of stabilising oil prices, including the possibility of Russia easing its oil production.
President Vladimir Putin has previously supported easing oil output and urged others to join Russian efforts to stabilise prices. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is expected to meet on 30 November in Vienna, to finalise its proposed solution to falling oil prices.
EU-Canada trade deal faltering
The Prime Minister of Belgium, Charles Michel, has announced that Belgium is unwilling to sign the proposed EU-Canada trade deal. All 28 EU member states must unanimously agree to the deal for the EU to sign it.
Belgium’s reluctance to the agreement could force the EU to cancel the EU-Canada summit, during which the agreement was expected to be signed.
UN rights group calls on US to abolish migrant detention
Members of the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention have called on the US to abolish its practice of detaining migrants, and especially of asylum-seekers. The Working Group found racial and economic disparities among the detainees, and observed that detainees were being held under punitive conditions.
The Working Group visited the US on 11-24 October and met with relevant officials, including from the US Department of State, the Office of the Special Envoy on Guantanamo Closure, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Justice.