President Maithripala Sirisena returned to the Island today (20) after completing a successful six-day official visit to attend the 24th session of the Committee on Forestry (COFO) and the 6th World Forest Week organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in Rome, Italy and the Open Government Partnership Global Summit 2018 in Tbillisi inn Georgia.
The President’s tours to Rome and Georgia could be considered as yet another successful steps in the journey towards building trust internationally and promote Sri Lanka as a mature democratic nation. This will bring better benefits to the Motherland in the near future.
Delivering the Inaugural Speech at the opening ceremony of the 24th Sessions of the Committee on Forestry, of Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Rome , President Maithripala Sirisena said the Committee on Forestry is the right platform for the forestry experts to share knowledge, discuss, debate and take decisions for the progressing of the global forestry sector. “The agenda ahead of you is very comprehensive and challenging,” he told the international gathering.
President Sirisena further said that forests provide many socio-economic benefits, including food, energy and shelter, which are basic human needs and to sustain the products and services that help meet these and other needs, forests must be sustainably managed.
President Sirisena arrived in Gerogia to attend the 5th Session of Open Government Partnership on July 17, where he was welcomed by the Deputy Foreign Minister of Georgia, George Sharvashidze.
The OGP 2018 Global Summit focused on civic engagement, fighting against corruption, and public service delivery.
Sri Lanka was offered membership of the Open Government Partnership in 2015, following the election of President Maithripala Sirisena, whose commitment to fight corruption gained international attention.
The Global Session, chaired by Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze with the participation of Presidents, Prime Ministers, Speakers, Ministers and other representatives from 75 member countries. The Open Government Partnership is a mechanism formed to enhance transparency and accountability to the public and people’s participation in governance.
President Sirisena spoke at the Session with the theme, “How the decisions taken at the OGP could be used for the welfare and benefit of the people of the member countries?”
The President, expressing his views further regarding the steps that have been taken by Sri Lanka to promote the principles of Open Government Partnership, said that the 19th Amendment to the Constitution of Sri Lanka was introduced within a few months of assuming office by him and it became a key factor that strengthened transparency, accountability and the rule of law in the country. With the passage of this important constitutional amendment, the open government partnership with the executive, legislature and judiciary was transformed to yield progressive benefits.