Monday, 23 March 2015, Colombo. The Millennium Development Goals Country Report 2014 for Sri Lanka was launched at an event graced by Deputy Minister of Policy Planning and Economic Affairs, Hon. Dr. Harsha De Silva, this morning.
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are a set of eight goals agreed by world leaders in 2000 to be achieved before the end date in 2015. The eight MDGs range from halving extreme poverty rates to promoting gender equality and providing universal primary education. As countries near the end target date in September 2015, governments around the world are reviewing their progress towards achieving the MDGs in the last 15 years.
The MDG Country Report is the third MDG review report produced by Sri Lanka. It is also the first report that covers the entire country, allowing comparison across the 25 districts and providing policy makers with information to identify and support regions lagging behind. It also analyses achievements and thematic areas requiring further attention.
Speaking at the launch event, Hon. Dr. Harsha De Silva said: “The government of Sri Lanka understands the need in building bridges, in integrating our society, and in Sri Lanka being a country of Sri Lankans. I hope that we can make further progress in integrating the differences within communities. We have to ensure that in our market framework there is social goodwill and economic justice. That is what we mean by a social market economy.”
The Report, which was prepared by the Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka, is a joint publication by the Government of Sri Lanka and the United Nations in Sri Lanka. Its findings show that Sri Lanka has performed well against the MDGs overall, having already achieved or being on-track to achieve the majority of the goals and indicators.
Highlighting Sri Lanka’s MDG performance, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, Mr. Subinay Nandy, stated, “The findings in the report make a strong case for Sri Lanka to be a leading and credible actor in the global deliberations around the development agenda for post-2015. Sri Lanka’s long history of investment in health, education and poverty alleviation programmes, has translated into robust performance against the MDGs, and Sri Lanka has many lessons to share”.
Looking to the future, the report also highlights certain areas that require additional focus such as Women’s Empowerment, Nutrition, Climate Change and Regional Disparities and these were discussed during a panel discussion on ‘Priorities Moving Forward’. The panel discussion took place with the participation of Mr. Alain Sibenaler – UNFPA Representative, Dr. Suren Batagoda – Secretary of the Ministry of Power and Energy, Ms. Una McCauley – UNICEF Representative, Dr. Shanthi Goonewardena – Director, Nutrition Coordination Division, Ministry of Health, and Ms. Shanthi Sachithanandam – CEO, Viluthu.
Also during the event, a campaigned titled ‘Our UN. අපේ UN. எங்கள் UN.’ (‘Our UN. Apey UN. Engal UN.’) was launched by the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Ms. Chitranganee Wagiswara, and Mr. Subinay Nandy. The year-long campaign carried out by the United Nations in close partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs recognizes and highlights the importance of the year 2015 in the global development sphere, as this year marks the 70th year since the UN was founded in 1945, and the 60th year since Sri Lanka became a Member State of the UN on 14 December 1955.
Download (PDF): MDG Country Report 2014 English(Sinhala and Tamil will be available soon)
Address by Mr. Subinay Nandy (Opening Remarks) English
Photos Photo 1: Mr. Subinay Nandy delivers the Opening Remarks at the MDG Country Report Launch Photo 2: Hon. Dr. Harsha De Silva delivers the Keynote Address at the MDG Country Report Launch Photo 3: Jointly launching the first copy of the MDG Country Report 2014 Photo 4: Mr. Wimal Nanayakkara, Senior Visiting Fellow, Institute of Policy Studies – Sri Lanka, presents the MDG Country Report Findings Photo credits: UN Photo