With the deadline for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) fast approaching, in marking the 67th United Nations Day this year, the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon highlighted the need to prepare a bold and practical post 2015 agenda.
Marking the occasion locally, the United Nations in Sri Lanka, held a morning event for its partners, in the presence of Chief Guest, Hon. Senior Minister for International Monetary Cooperation, Dr. Sarath Amunugama, where, the country’s performance of the MDGs, the achievements and the challenges that remain, were highlighted.
Addressing the gathering during the occasion, Minister Amunugama, while recognizing the mutually beneficial partnership that exists between the Government and the UN, also emphasized on the role of the UN in supporting the Government in ensuring quality service delivery and advocating for a country in which justice for all can be guaranteed.
Expressing his thoughts, Mr. Subinay Nandy, UN Resident Coordinator in Sri Lanka, stated that the UN’s vision for Sri Lanka is that it ‘would be a pioneer country in shaping the post-2015 MDG agenda, much like it was in earlier years in achieving universal access to health and education. With many of the basic foundations for human development in place, Sri Lanka is in a position to be able to demonstrate to its peers how to achieve inclusive growth, how to put climate change considerations at the front and centre of growth strategies, and how to empower youth and women to be the leaders of tomorrow’.
With the current United Nations Development Assistant Framework (UNDAF) drawing to a close at the end of this year, the UN has supported the Government of Sri Lanka, through technical and financial assistance, to a total value of approximately US$ 600 million. In addition, over the past 3 years, nearly US$ 300 million has been mobilized to address a range of humanitarian needs. Moving forward, the UN will continue to support the Government of Sri Lanka through the new five year country programme, which was signed on October 4, 2012. Aligned with the Government’s Development Policy Framework, the Mahinda Chinthana, the new country programme focuses on sustainable and inclusive economic growth with equitable access to quality social services, strengthened human capabilities and reconciliation for lasting peace.
Themed under the MDGs, an exhibition showcased what Sri Lanka has achieved under each of the eight goals focusing on eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, achieving universal primary education, promoting gender equality and empowering women, reducing child mortality, improving maternal health, combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, ensuring environment sustainability and developing a global partnership for development. Additionally, guests also had the chance to share their views on the future they want beyond the MDGs. Following the morning reception, the exhibition was later open for school students, giving them an opportunity to get a glimpse of UN’s work in Sri Lanka.