Address by President Maithripala Sirisena at the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly

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I am extremely happy to take part in this 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly. I wish to bring to the notice of Your Excellencies the current situation in my country. For the last twenty months, I have given the leadership to usher a new era of social, political and economic transformations in my country.

Before I came to power, people in my country were living in fear and suspicion. I could end that period and lay the foundation for strengthening rule of law and restoring democratic rights for the people of Sri Lanka to live happily in a free and democratic society.

My government’s intention is to make the people of Sri Lanka one of the happiest among the world communities. For that purpose, the government is committed to strengthening freedom and democracy, while achieving economic prosperity. The government is committed to make the people of Sri Lanka a developed nation.

Poverty is a global challenge. I am determined to alleviate poverty in my country. I declared 2017 as the Year of ‘Alleviation of Poverty’ in Sri Lanka. I have given lead to creating the basic platform for the people to free themselves poverty in a county that prioritizes economic progress.

Mr. Chairman, Excellencies, Sustainable Development Agenda is upheld as the guiding principles for all nations and institutions lead by United Nations in bringing about economic, social and environmental transformations to make a world a better place. In that, we have identified that economic development plays a key role, while environmental sustainability, specially the Paris Agreement, which, the Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon initiated, will remain a main pillar in our endeavor to bring about the necessary changes in the country.

With the educated younger generations in mind, that national development strategy of Sri Lanka will give prominence to build a ‘green’ and an innovation-based economy through progressive reforms and planning.

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