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September 21, 2016    Reading Time: 2 minutes

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President Sirisena attends the 71st UN General Assembly in New York. Image Credit-  kmiragaya / depositphotos

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UN Special Rapporteur to visit Sri Lanka

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has stated that the UN Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues, Rita Izsák-Ndiaye, will visit Sri Lanka from 10 – 20 October.

The Special Rapporteur previously submitted a report on Sri Lanka to the UN Human Rights Council. The government stated that it hopes to gain expertise on any outstanding issues, as well as clarity on her previous report.

President meets world leaders in New York

President Sirisena has met with several world leaders during the 71st Session of the  United Nations General Assembly in New York. During a luncheon hosted by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, President Sirisena met with US President Barack Obama, who stated that there was a ‘positive transformation’ in Sri Lanka.

The President also met the Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, where they discussed curbing human trafficking between Sri Lanka and Australia.

US aid agency extends support to Sri Lanka

The United States Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) has selected Sri Lanka for its Threshold Programme. Under this programme, the MCC would assist Sri Lankan projects that contribute towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

The announcement was made by the CEO of the MCC, Dana J. Hyde, at a meeting with President Sirisena in New York on 20 September.


UN to cease aid delivery in Syria

The UN has announced that it would cease all aid delivery in Syria, following an attack on a UN aid convoy bound for Aleppo. The US accused Russia and Syria of being complicit in the attack.

The Russian Ministry of Defence spokesperson, Igor Konashenkov, has stated that neither Russia nor Syria were responsible for the attack.

UN Secretary-General and US President address the General Assembly

The Secretary-General of the UN, Ban Ki-moon, and US President, Barack Obama, have delivered their final speeches, in their respective capacities, to the UN General Assembly. The Secretary-General denounced attacks on UN aid convoys in  Syria, and chastised world leaders who failed to act or facilitated the conflict.

President Obama spoke of the dangers of populism, authoritarianism and inequality and outlined the achievements of international diplomacy during his tenure.

US and China strengthen cooperation against North Korea

The US and China have agreed to step up cooperation in the UN Security Council in regard to North Korea’s recent nuclear tests. The two countries also agreed to investigate the Liaoning Hongxiang Industrial Development Group, a Chinese conglomerate accused by the US of funding North Korea’s nuclear programme.

The agreement was reached at a meeting between US President Barack Obama and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.

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