Sri Lanka`s offer to host the Commonwealth Heads of Government-2011 (CHOGM-2011) Summit in Sri Lanka has been noted with optimism at the CHOGM-2007 which ended in Kampala yesterday.
At the closing sessions of the Summit, President Mahinda Rajapaksa making the offer, pointed out that Sri Lanka, a leading and long-standing member of the Commonwealth, did possess the pre-requisites and the necessary infrastructure to host a summit of the calibre of the CHOGM and referred to the series of successful international conferences held in Sri Lanka in the recent past.
`Sri Lanka`s offer was a demonstration of the Government`s commitment to the Commonwealth, and its zeal to bring the CHOGM back to the Asian region as the CHOGM had been held in Malaysia in 1989,` the President said.
The President had made this proposal in the backdrop of the new and daunting challenges posed by terrorism since the adoption of the `Commonwealth Plan` of `Action on terrorism` in Abuja 2003 and the lack of activity on terrorism within the Commonwealth.
He opined that this meeting would provide the platform and the opportunity to discuss the manner in which the Commonwealth could harness the resources and expertise available among the member countries to face this challenge in a more pragmatic and action-oriented manner, at a political level.
President Rajapaksa observed that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, was a scourge and should be crushed and eradicated, irrespective of its objectives.
He was of the view that the needs for the causes of extremism, could be addressed via political, economic and social means.
Nonetheless, he proposed home-grown strategies which would take account of the ground realities and be realistic as well. He urged the Commonwealth to recognise that terrorism continues to be a major global challenge in today`s context and posted a serious threat to global peace, security and economic well-being.
He also underscored the urgency in countering terrorism, and appealed to the Commonwealth to unite under one banner in order to formulate a plan at the forthcoming meeting on terrorism. President Rajapaksa reiterated that immediate action should be taken on the issue of climate change.
`The needs of the developing countries should be considered when taking any measures in this regard,` he said.
Sri Lanka also advocated the immediate activation of the `Climate Adaptation Fund` and also proposed the `Carbon Value` allocation which could be traded in the global `Carbon Market`, for the tropical rain forests.
President Rajapaksa said that considering all achievements during the summit, the CHOGM-007 in Kampala has brought overwhelming success and honours to Sri Lanka.