In a significant diplomatic meeting held on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York on September 20th, Baroness Patricia Scotland, the Secretary General of the Commonwealth, engaged in a productive discussion with President Ranil Wickremesinghe.
The discussions between President Wickremesinghe and Secretary General Scotland revolved around crucial aspects of the ongoing cooperation between Sri Lanka and the Commonwealth Secretariat. They also delved into the implementation of decisions made by leaders during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) held last year in Rwanda.
A key focal point of their exchange was the pressing issue of climate change and the challenges associated with climate financing, especially for developing nations.
This discussion gains particular significance in the context of the upcoming 28th Conference of the Parties (COP 28) related to climate change. President Wickremesinghe expressed his commitment to taking a lead role in aligning the efforts of the Commonwealth member states in formulating a unified stance on these critical matters.
Furthermore, Secretary General Scotland briefed President Wickremesinghe on the progress of the Marlborough House Dialogue, an initiative aimed at engaging with the Diaspora community. This dialogue seeks to foster connections and collaboration with Sri Lanka’s global Diaspora for mutual benefit.
Notably, the meeting was attended by Foreign Minister, Mr. Ali Sabry, President’s Secretary Mr. Saman Ekanayake, UN Permanent Representative Mr. Mohan Peiris, President’s Advisor Mr. Dinesh Weerakkody and senior officials from both Sri Lanka and the Commonwealth Secretariat, emphasizing the collective commitment to further strengthen ties and cooperation between Sri Lanka and the Commonwealth on these vital issues.
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