President Maithripala Sirisena arrived in Sri Lanka today (Dec. 01) after participating in the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) – 2015 held in Malta and the United Nations Conference on Climate Change – 2015 held in France.
At the CHOGM, he handed over the position of Chair in Office of Commonwealth to Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat on November 27.
Secretary General of Commonwealth Secretariat Dr. Kamlesh Sharma, commending President Sirisena’s commitment to promote Commonwealth principles, during his tenure as the Chairman of the Commonwealth, stated that President Maithripala Sirisena did a wonderful job to promote Commonwealth ideals.
Speaking at a joint press conference with Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat at the CHOGM Media Center in Valetta, he further stated that President Sirisena’s total commitment to promote commonwealth principles such as democracy, human rights and accountability is exceptionally good. “President Sirisena, as Chair in Office of the Commonwealth, not only extended the secretariat all possible cooperation, but in his speech at the United Nations General Assembly devoted a substantial time to promote the Commonwealth principles,” Secretary General added.
Addressing the CHOGM, President Sirisena said that what is important is common values and not the power of wealth. He emphasized the imperative need to achieve growth, equality and dignity for the people.
On the sidelines of the CHOGM, the President had bilateral discussions with the Prime Ministers of UK, Canada and Australia. British Prime Minister David Cameron expressed deep appreciation for the steps taken by President Maithripala Sirisena in the last 10 months to strengthen democratic values, human rights and reconciliation. He said Britain is ready to provide additional assistance to Sri Lanka to carry forward these tasks.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau conveyed their appreciation to President Sirisena on the remarkable changes that he has brought to governance in Sri Lanka. They said that reconciliation and ensuring justice are important elements for recovery after a difficult period of conflict.
After participating in the CHOGM, the President left for France to attend the United Nations Conference on Climate Change – 2015.
Addressing this summit, held in Le Bourget, France, President Sirisena emphasized the need to have deep cuts in global greenhouse gas emissions by the developed countries considering the historical responsibility. He pointed out the need to embrace the principle of common but different responsibilities and respective capabilities in order to keep the temperature increase below two degrees Celsius in this century.
President Sirisena also met the members of Sri Lankan community in France at the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Paris on November 29. He ensured them that he would never compromise of national security under any circumstance.