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Foreign Secretary Ravinatha Aryasinha, Leader of the Sri Lanka Delegation addressed the 74th United Nations General Assembly on 30 September 2019.

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Foreign Secretary Ravinatha Aryasinha who is presently leading the Sri Lanka delegation to the 74th UN General Assembly Session, on Friday (27th September 2019) met with Mr. Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Under Secretary General of the United Nations Department of Peace Operations (USSG/UNDPO) at the UN Headquarters in New York to discuss obstacles placed on Sri Lanka’s Peacekeeping contribution to the UN.

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Foreign Secretary Ravinatha Aryasinha on 26 September 2019 underscored the relevance of the Bandung Principles at a time when global multilateral mechanisms are under strain, when addressing the Ministerial Meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) held in New York, on the sidelines of the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. Given that NAM encompasses 55 percent of the world’s population it has a moral duty to give voice to the concerns of the Global South, especially the developing small States.

Litmus test

Foreign Secretary Ravinatha Aryasinha said post 21/4 has been a ‘litmus test’ on Sri Lanka’s resolve to adhere to human rights standards, while fighting terrorism, and also to determine the robustness and shortcomings of the democratic institutions that have been strengthened in recent years.

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The fourth meeting of the Working Group on Governance, Rule of Law and Human Rights under the European Union-Sri Lanka Joint Commission was held in Colombo on 30 August 2019.

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Sri Lanka has sought expertise in preventing violent extremism (PVE) from the Global Community Engagement & Resilience Fund (GCERF), in the post Easter Sunday scenario where violent extremism has become the biggest threat to national security. At the invitation of the Foreign Ministry, the Executive Director of GCERF, Dr. Khalid Koser was in Sri Lanka from 27 – 30 August, and met with political leaders, senior officials and other stakeholders with a view to ascertain possible programmes for GCERF assistance.

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