At UN assembly, Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister warns against selective intervention

Foreign Minister G. L. Peiris of Sri Lanka addresses General Assembly. UN Photo/Jennifer S Altman

1 October 2012 – Addressing the General Assembly at UN Headquarters in New York, Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minster, G. L. Peiris, today deplored the selective intervention in the internal affairs of some countries, stressing from the Assembly’s podium that conflict resolution must be based on the United Nations principle of the sovereign equality of States.

“The noticeable recent tendency to selectively and arbitrarily intervene in the internal affairs of States flies in the face of this principle and dilutes the confidence so carefully nurtured in the UN system,” Foreign Minster Peiris told the 67th Assembly on the last day of its annual General Debate.

“Sri Lanka believes that in the settlement of international disputes, action must be based on the fundamental principle of sovereign equality of States, a principle firmly enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations,” he added.

In his statement, the Foreign Minister decried the “cavalier attitudes” of the financial markets in developed countries which have led to the disruption of millions of lives and the social fabric of many societies in the current global economic crisis.

“A recovery without uplifting the developing countries simultaneously will be unsustainable,” he warned, emphasizing that a significant aspect in addressing the problem must be a restructuring of the global financial architecture. “It is important to note that global financial power has shifted over recent times from the industrialized North to the powerhouses of the South.”

“It is imperative that the global financial institutions reflect these tectonic changes in the international arena. They must now be reflected in the global structures, including the UN, its agencies and other multilateral institutions,” Mr. Peiris continued. “The UN can play an important role towards achieving this end.”

He also stressed the need for assistance to help developing countries mitigate the adverse consequences from too rigid an application of green economic principles to combat climate change, and called on the UN system and other development cooperation mechanisms to provide aid for middle-income countries to achieve sustainable development.

Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister is one of scores of world leaders and other high-level officials presenting their views and comments on issues of individual, national and international relevance at the Assembly’s General Debate, which ends later on Monday.


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