4 April 2005


Press Release


(Based on information received from the Protocol and Liaison Service.)

Prasad Kariyawasam, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations, today presented his credentials to Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

Mr. Kariyawasam joined Sri Lanka’s Foreign Service in 1981.  He held several diplomatic assignments at Sri Lanka Missions in Geneva, Switzerland, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Washington, D.C., and New Delhi, India.  He was the Deputy High Commissioner for Sri Lanka in India, with the rank of Ambassador from 1998 to 2001.  He also served as the Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations in Geneva and Consul General to Switzerland from 2001 to 2003. 

At the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Mr. Kariyawasam had assignments in the Divisions of United Nations and Non-Aligned, Political Affairs (West), Administration, and as the Special Assistant to the Foreign Secretary (1987 – 1989).  He also represented his county at several international, United Nations and Non-Aligned Movement conferences around the world.

Some of those assignments included:  alternate representatives at the 53rd, 54th and 55th sessions of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights; head of the observer delegation of Sri Lanka to the 57th and 58th regular sessions of the Commission; and Vice-Chairperson at the 59th session.  At the World Conference against Racism, held in Durban, South Africa in 2001, he was elected Vice-Chair of the Main Committee. 

In 2003, Mr. Kariyawasam was elected to the United Nations Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families for an initial two-year term, and at the Committee’s inaugural session, he was selected as its Chairperson.  Mr. Kariyawasam was also elected as the Chair of the 2004 sessions of the Chairpersons of the Human Rights Treaty Bodies and Inter-Committee Meetings.  From 2001 to 2003, he led the Sri Lankan delegation at the Conference on Disarmament, in Geneva.  He was also appointed as Special Coordinator for the Conference’s improved functioning (2001 and 2002). 

Also in the disarmament sphere, he was a member of the United Nations Panel of Experts on Small Arms, which produced a report on the subject to the General Assembly in 1997.  He also served in the Group of Governmental Experts on the Relationship between Disarmament and Development, which reported to the 2004 General Assembly session.  From 2001 to 2003, he represented his country in the Sixth Committee (Legal) and the First Committee (Disarmament and International Security). 

Among his many other assignments, he was a delegate to the Ad Hoc Committee on International Terrorism (2001 to 2003).  Mr. Kariyawasam also chaired the Global System of Trade Preferences Committee of Participants in the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and chaired the UNCTAD Expert Group on Market Access Issues in Mode 4 (Movement of Natural Persons to Supply Services) (2002 to 2003).  After the Indian Ocean tsunami, he attended the International Conferences in Jakarta, Indonesia and Phuket, Thailand, as well as in Paris, on issues related to that disaster.

Mr. Kariyawasam received a Bachelor of Science degree with honours from the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, in 1978, earning a special degree in mathematics.

Born in 1954 in Galle, Sri Lanka, Mr. Kariyawasam is married and has two children.

* *** *

For information media. Not an official record.