Biographical Notes on Ambassador Prasad Kariyawasam
Prasad Kariyawasam joined the Sri Lanka Foreign Service in 1981 and has held diplomatic assignments at Sri Lanka Missions in Geneva, Riyadh, Washington and New Delhi, in the latter as the Deputy High Commissioner for Sri Lanka in India, holding the rank of an Ambassador. He also served as the Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN in Geneva, Consul General of Sri Lanka to Switzerland and Personal Representative of the Head of State of Sri Lanka to the G-15. And at present he is the Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN in New York.
At the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he had assignments in the Divisions of UN and Non-Aligned, Political Affairs (West), Administration, and as the Special Assistant to the Foreign Secretary. He also held the post of the Director of the South Asia Division and was the Official Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the capacity of Director of Publicity. Prior to his assignment to New York he held the position of Director General of the Economic Affairs Division and as an Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
He has represented Sri Lanka at several international, UN and Non-Aligned Movement Conference on various issues held in Geneva, New York, Vienna and in several other venues in Asia, Europe and America.
Mr. Kariyawasam was the Alternate Representative of Sri Lanka at the 53rd, 54th and 55th Sessions of the UN Commission for Human Rights (CHR) held in Geneva and led the observer delegation of Sri Lanka to the 57th and 58th Sessions of CHR. At the 59th Session of the UN Commission on Human Rights in Geneva, Mr. Kariyawasam was elected as a Vice-Chairperson and served in the Expanded Bureau of the 59th CHR. At the World Conference against Racism held in Durban in 2001, he was elected as the Vice-Chair of the main Committee. In 2003, he was elected to the UN Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families for an initial term of two years. At the first inaugural session of the Committee, he was selected as its Chairperson, the post of which he holds at present. Mr. Kariyawasam was also elected as the Chair of the 2004 sessions of the Chairperson of the Human Rights Treaty Bodies and Inter-Committee Meetings. He is also the Chairperson of the United Nations Special committee to Investigate Israel Practices Affecting the Human rights of the Palestine People and other Arabs of the Occupied Territories.
He followed the UN disarmament Fellowship Programme and was a delegate of Sri Lanka at the UN Conference on disarmament in Geneva from 1984 to 1987 and led the delegation from 2001 to 2003. Mr. Kariyawasam was also appointed as the Special Co-ordinator for improved and effective functioning of the Conference on Disarmament at its Fall Session of 2001 and for the year 2002. He was a member of the United Nations Panel of Experts on Small Arms, which produced a report on the subject to the UN General Assembly in 1997. He also served in the UN Group of Governmental Experts on the Relationship between Disarmament and Development, which reported to the 2004 UNGA. Mr. Kariyawasam has now been endorsed as the President-designate of the 2006 UN Conference to Review Progress in the Implementation of the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All its Aspects.
Mr. Kariyawasam was a member of the Sri Lanka delegation to the 50th and the 60th anniversary of the United Nations General Assembly and to the 50th Anniversary Session of the annual IMF/World Bank meetings. He was a delegate to the Legal Committee of the UNGA in 1997, which finalised the UN Convention for Suppression of Terrorist Bombings. He was Sri Lanka's Representative to the 1st Committee of the UNGA and a delegate to the UN Ad Hoc Committee on International Terrorism. Mr. Kariyawasam was elected as the President of the Council of the International Organization for Migration for the years 2001-2002 at its 50th anniversary session. He chaired the Global System of Trade Preferences (GSTP) Committee of Participants in the UNCTAD and chaired the UNCTAD Expert Group on Market Access Issues in Mode 4 (Movement of Natural Persons to Supply Services) in the year 2002 – 2003. In the year 2002 he also participated at the annual session of the World Economic Forum held in Davos.
Mr. Kariyawasam was born in 21st March 1954. He is married and has a son and a daughter.