President to address United Nations General Assembly today

President Maithripala Sirisena addressing the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit in New York yesterday. Picture by Sudath Silva

President Maithripala Sirisena will address the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) today (September 25). This will be President Sirisena’s fourth consecutive annual address to the world body.

This year’s theme of the UNGA Session is, “Making the United Nations Relevant to All People: Global Leadership and Shared responsibilities for Peaceful, Equitable and Sustainable Societies.”

The President during his speech is expected to announce a set of new proposals for consideration by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). These proposals are aimed at solving issues and providing relief without causing harm to the pride of the Security Forces and safeguard the independence, sovereignty and national security and find amicable solutions to the remaining issues with regard to the conflict.

The President is also expected to submit these proposals to the United Nations Secretary General Antònio Guterres and to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet.

These proposals are to be submitted to the United Nations Human Rights Council session in March 2019.

The President will also take part in a special session to discuss the issues pertaining to the drug menace.

On September 26, the UNGA will also hold a high-level meeting on the fight against tuberculosis, as agreed by the member states in February.

On September 27, the UN will hold a one-day comprehensive review of the progress achieved in the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), which will be the third high-level meeting of the UNGA on the issue and President Sirisena will be one of the Heads of States attending this even organised by the World Health Organization. During the visit an agreement is to be signed between the United Nations Development Fund (UNDP) and Sri Lanka.

President Sirisena will also have meetings with the United Nations Secretary General and Commonwealth Secretary General. Ministers Rajitha Senaratne, Champika Ranawaka, Mano Ganeshan and Tilak Marapana are accompanying the President.


Nelson Mandela, a remarkable leader- President

Rakshana Shriyantha in New York

President Maithripala Sirisena while calling on world leaders to follow in the path of anti-apartheid revolutionary and statesman Nelson Mandela yesterday said that his life teaches the world many lessons about peace, reconciliation and above all humanity.

He added that world leaders should study the life and work of Mandela who demonstrated remarkable leadership qualities.The President was addressing the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit which was held on the sidelines of 73rd United Nations General Assembly in New York yesterday. “The world should be guided by his leadership qualities and follow in the path of this extra ordinary leader,” the President added. The President added that former South African leader Mandela set many examples on giving up or limiting of powers centric on him.

President Maithripala Sirisena thanked the United Nations for organising the Mandela Peace Summit, who devoted his entire life for peace and reconciliation.

The focus of the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit is on Global Peace in honour of the birth centenary of Nelson Mandela. This Peace Summit offered the opportunity for world leaders to renew their commitment to global peace, conflict prevention, conflict resolution, peace building, promotion and protection of human rights and long-term development initiatives .






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