The Special Envoy of the UN Secretary General promoting universalization of the Ottawa Convention Prince Zeid Al-Hussein said during his visit to Sri Lanka he saw extraordinary seriousness from the higher political level, down to official level to make Sri Lanka mine free by 2020. He said this during a panel discussion chaired by Sri Lanka Permanent Representative, Ambassador A. L. A. Azeez, in Geneva on Friday.
Making opening remarks as the Chair of the Panel, Ambassador Azeez stressed the tremendous amount of work that was done on the ground, paving the way for the release of land and the resettlement of affected persons, makes the case of Sri Lanka distinct from other situations elsewhere.
Secretary to the Ministry of Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Northern Development, Mr. V. Sivagnanasothy, making a keynote presentation, explained the strategic approach intended to make Sri Lanka mine free by 2020. He also briefed the participants on the resettlement work conducted following demining.
He paid tribute to key implementing partners including the Sri Lanka Army and many other national and international organizations, as well as donors for their support for Sri Lanka’s efforts towards advancing development and building sustainable peace.