Minister of External Affairs addresses the XVI Ministerial Conference and Commemorative Meeting marking the 50th Anniversary of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in Indonesia

Minister of External Affairs addresses the XVI Ministerial Conference and Commemorative Meeting marking the 50th Anniversary of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in Indonesia

Minister of External Affairs, Prof G.L. Peiris addressing the XVI Ministerial Conference and Commemorative Meeting marking the 50th Anniversary of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) stated that the Non-Aligned Movement had a critical role to play, in a changed global scenario, in collectively addressing common challenges such as the scourge of terrorism, plaguing many countries of the world. Towards this end, Minister Peiris stressed on the need for NAM to build synergies with other organizations, which share similar values such as the G-15, BIMSTEC and SAARC. President Rajapaksa, in his capacity as the current chair of the G-15 was ready to facilitate such an endeavour. Minister Peiris delivered these comments during the thematic debate held under the topic ‘Shared vision on the contribution of NAM for the next 50 years’.

During his address, Professor Peiris stated that today there was a critical need to tackle issues on their own merits without adherence to any particular ideology or philosophy and NAM was uniquely poised to address issues in this manner. Sri Lanka, through the vision of President Rajapaksa as enunciated in the ‘Mahinda Chinthana’ has charted its own course of post-conflict development and reconciliation after overcoming the challenge posed by terrorism. The clearest indicator of the success of its efforts was that the Sri Lankan economy was now growing at more than 8 %.

The Ministerial Conference and the Commemorative Meeting also appointed External Affairs Minister Prof.G.L Peiris as a Vice-Chair of the Coordinating Bureau representing the Asian Group of countries.

Professor Peiris also called on the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia, Marty M.Natalegawa, and met with counterparts from a number of Asian, African, Latin American member countries of the NAM as well as of the observer states of Europe represented at the Conference.

The NAM Conference and Commemorative Meeting was held from 25-27 May in Bali, Indonesia. The Sri Lanka delegation consisted of Rauff Hakeem, Minister of Justice; Dilan Perera, Minister of Foreign Employment Promotion & Welfare; Gitanjana Gunawardana, Deputy Minister of Finance and Sajin de Vass Gunawardena, Monitoring MP for External Affairs. A series of bilateral meetings were also held, by members of the Sri Lanka delegation, on the sidelines of the meeting which provided a unique opportunity to brief member and observer countries of the Non-Aligned Movement, in particular the member states of the Human Rights Council, on the comprehensive efforts being undertaken by the Government of Sri Lanka for post-conflict reconciliation and development. During the discussions, delegations of Member and Observer countries reiterated their continued support for the efforts of the Government of Sri Lanka to build a comprehensive peace after successfully overcoming the threat posed by terrorism and expressed their desire to explore enhanced bilateral linkages with Sri Lanka in areas of mutual interest.

Ministry of External Affairs
Colombo

27 May 2011

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