Sri Lanka notes with concern that increased international financing and moratorium on debt are required for developing countries at this time of crisis. Sri Lanka reiterates that Middle-Income Countries (MICs) be given special attention and joins Secretary General’s call to broaden the eligibility for G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) and to include MICs to it, Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena said.
The minister made this comment while addressing the 31st Special Session of the General Assembly in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, held on 03rd and 4th of December 2020.
Some excerpts from the minister’s speech are reproduced below.
“As we finally pass through this pandemic, let us hope that in a post pandemic era through coordinated and collective action aligned with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals, we may build an inclusive and more resilient post-COVID world which is fairer and greener”.
“Sri Lanka reiterates its support to the extensive work carried out by the World Health Organization (WHO). Since many countries are facing repeated waves of the virus, the WHO’s Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator should be facilitated by all stakeholders”.
“Under the leadership of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka has been managing the spread of COVID-19 through the strict adherence to the Universal Health Precautions and with a whole of government approach, targeting zero transmission”.
“Sri Lanka focuses on eliminating COVID-19 from the country in the year 2021. The mechanism and strategic plan the government has currently deployed to respond to the pandemic while maintaining normalcy in the daily life, consist of 10 pillars”.
“In addressing socio-economic impact caused by the pandemic, the government has granted financial relief and dry rations to over six million families and vulnerable groups, established a COVID – 19 Healthcare and Social Security Fund and provides financial facilities to local businesses”.
“As this virus transcends all national boundaries, the role of the United Nations is pivotally felt today. Sri Lanka reiterates the call of the UN Secretary General to make the COVID-19 vaccine a global public good – free and accessible to all. The United Nations needs to mobilize all resources and partners to this end, without any exception”, the Foreign Minister said.