This was the third time that President Maithripala Sirisena addressed the UN General Assembly.In his address to the UN the President apprised the world leaders regarding the policies of the country.
The President left for New York, US to attend the 72nd General Assembly of the on September 17 and arrived at the John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York on September 18. On the same day President Sirisena participated at the Sessions of the UN Economic and Social Council, which was only participated by the Heads of States.
During the meeting it was discussed in detail regarding how the UN must work in the future and paid their special attention in further improving the efficiency of the UN, development cooperation as well as reducing the administrative expenditure and to provide maximum benefits to the member states.
The UN General Debate was opened on Tuesday, 19 September 2017, with a focus on the theme, Focusing on People: Striving for Peace and a Decent Life for All on a Sustainable Planet.
Addressing the 72nd Session of the United nations General Assembly in New York on September 19 (20th morning in SL time), President Maithripala Sirisena called upon the international community to seriously consider the tremendous progress made by the government towards reconciliation, restoration of democratic freedoms, human rights and the rule of law and extend the fullest support to the slow, but the steady forward march of Sri Lanka to build a progressive, democratic, free and equal society with high morals and discipline.
He pointed out that we all are aware that haste will not yield good results and the slow and steady path is the most suitable one to restore religious and communal harmony so that people of all communities could live in peace and harmony as equal citizens.
President Sirisena stressed that the vision of the government is to ensure sustained economic development through the increase of domestic agriculture and industry under an environment friendly policies and programs. He emphasized the imperative need to adhere to the Paris Protocol on Climate Change for the sake of the future of the human beings as well as flora and fauna.
President Sirisena and First Lady Jayanthi Sirisena attended the luncheon hosted by US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump, for Heads of States attending the 72nd UN General Assembly and President Sirisena and First Lady Jayanthi Sirisena had cordial discussions with the US President and First Lady.
President Sirisena held bilateral talks with Pakistans new Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, the Under Secretary for Political Affairs, Thomas A. Shannon and the Nepal Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba.
The President also met with Prince Zeid al-Hussein, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and said that Sri Lanka is performing for the betterment of its people with much responsibility, in keeping with the charters of UN, as a member of United Nations. He said the government is taking the process to ensure human rights and reconciliation forward step by step.
The President explained about the steps taken by the government of Sri Lanka to ensure human rights and reconciliation. He pointed out this task should be performed with a thorough understanding about the internal political and cultural matters, as well as international politics and culture.
The meeting between the UN Secretary General and President Maithripala Sirisena, was held on September 23.
During this meeting the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said that the UN is ready to provide every possible assistance to Sri Lanka in its efforts to build as a prosperous nation where the reconciliation is strengthened.
On September 23 the President met with the Sri Lankan community living in the U.S.A.During this meeting the President expressing his views said that the Government has gained fruitful results for its commitment in the last two and a half years to achieve prosperity and reconciliation for the motherland.
The President after visiting the Buddhist Temple in Queens joined for this meeting with the Sri Lankans living in the U.S.A. The President also presented a felicitation scroll to the Chief Incumbent of the Buddhist Temple in Queens Most.Ven. Kurunegoda Piyatissa Nayaka Thero, in recognition of his social and religious services to the society.