Opportunity to ‘build back better’ | Daily News
Minister Sabry tells UNGA

Opportunity to ‘build back better’

Seeks support of world community
Process of bringing in social, political reforms

The external and internal challenges Sri Lanka faces provide an opportunity for implementing political, social and economic reforms that will lead to recovery and prosperity for the people, Foreign Affairs Minister Ali Sabry told the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) over the weekend.

Addressing the General Debate of the 77th Session of the UNGA in New York, the Minister said Sri Lanka looks forward to the co-operation and support of the international community including the United Nations, as the country embarks on the journey ‘to build back better’.

The Minister outlined that the Government led by President Ranil Wickremesinghe, following prolonged social unrest and protests in the country, is in the process of bringing in social and political reforms requested by the Nation.

“These measures include a review of the present procedures, the strengthening of the institutional framework of democratic governance and adoption of urgent measures to restore long term economic stability. We have understood that this will only be possible if we engage in a strict adherence to fiscal discipline and far reaching economic and institutional reforms,” he said.

He underlined that democratic governance would be reinforced with independent oversight institutions as well as with enhanced public scrutiny through the proposed legislative and constitutional amendments.

“Legal and administrative frameworks are being strengthened to ensure transparency, integrity, accountability and inclusivity in providing access to justice. A greater participation of women and youth will be ensured in this process,” he remarked.

The Minister, noting that the Government has reached a staff level understanding with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), stated that the vulnerable segments of society would be protected when economic reforms are introduced.

“The Government is extremely sensitive to the socio- economic hardships faced by our people,” he said, adding “It is predicted that food and nutrition security will be at great risk. Sri Lanka is paying serious heed to these warning signs. Sri Lanka supports sustainable transformation of agriculture to a modernized sector and encourages enhanced food production to ensure food security. Sri Lanka has initiated the national food security programme with the dual objectives of ensuring that no citizen should suffer for the want of food and no child should be a victim of malnutrition.

He called on the UN Member States to come together to face the contemporary challenges and crises. “It is an opportunity to demonstrate global solidarity, diplomacy and collective efforts, leveraging the ideas and talents of all of our people and all segments of our society to find transformative solutions which leave no one behind. Conflicts, disasters and crises will not stop at passport control. Multilateralism is not without its shortcomings, and undoubtedly it provides a solid framework for resolving contemporary challenges,” he said.

Winding up his speech, the Minister emphasized that Sri Lanka is committed to the way of a socialist democracy, to non-alignment and to an independent foreign policy, based on friendship with all countries, irrespective of differing ideological and social systems.




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