President Maithripala Sirisena arrived at the John F Kennedy Airport in New York last evening (September 18) amidst tight security as the city suffered a major security threat with an explosive devise going off on the previous day injuring 29 persons.

The President was received at the Loews Regency Hotel by senior Minister of Foreign Affairs Mangala Samaraweera, Deputy Minister of Power and Renewable Energy, Ajith P Perera Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to UN, Dr Rohan Perera, Ambassador in Washington, Prasad Kariyawasam and the officials.

Dr Rohan Perera, speaking to media few minutes before the President’s arrival said that the visit of President Sirisena is of extreme importance to Sri Lanka as the 71st Session of the UNGA is dedicated to review the progress of the programme adopted on implementation of the Millennium Development Goals at the last year’s Summit. The President is also to handover the Sri Lanka’s Notice of Ratification of the Paris Declaration on Global warming adopted at the April 2016 environmental summit held in Paris. Once the Notices of ratification are submitted by a majority of the UN member nations, it will be formally announced at the current 71st Session of the UNGA, Dr Perera said.

The President is scheduled to address the UN General assembly in the afternoon of September 21. He is also scheduled to speak at the High-Level Event on Open Government Partnership with several leading nations to be held at the UN Headquarters on September 20.

He will also meet several leaders for discussions on bilateral relations and international issues. Those who will meet President Sirisena include Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, US Secretary of State John Kerry, Indian Minister of State for External Affairs, M J Akbar, Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, World Economic Forum Chairman Prof Klaus Schwab and Millennium Challenge Corporation President Dana J Hyde.

President Sirisena will also interact with global leaders at the reception host by US President Barak Obama and at the reception and luncheon host by UNSG Ban ki-moon.

The UNO and surrounding areas are under a heavy security blanket after the explosion that took place within hours of the arrival of advance delegations. President Obama and several others will arrive in New York today.

The city of New York is safe and all the security arrangements are in place for the UNGA, the New York Governor declared this afternoon.

Ministers Mangala Samaraweera, Gayantha Karunathilaka, Nimal Siripala de Silva, Arjuna Ranathunga and Faizer Mustafae Deputy Minister Ajith P Perera, Rohan Perera Ambassador in Washington, Prasad Kariyawasam and the Member of Parliament Nalaka Kolonne were among the delegation of the President.