The United Nations Assistant Secretary-General (ASG) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Regional Director, Kanni Wignaraja, concluded her meetings in Sri Lanka, aimed at extending partnerships and development financing for the country to contribute towards recovery efforts.
During her short visit, ASG Wignaraja engaged in high-level discussions with several parties including Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, Minister of Foreign Affairs Ali Sabry and State Minister of Finance Shehan Semasinghe.
She also met with Mr. Mizukoshi Hideaki, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Sri Lanka.
ASG Wignaraja’s exchanges focused on Sri Lanka’s current development priorities and needs, and the relevant policy reforms being pursued to ensure a more sustainable and inclusive growth and recovery, a statement said.
Emphasis was also placed on the challenges faced by the most vulnerable, who are highly susceptible to inflationary pressures on food and essential commodities, and regressive tax policies.
The meetings further pinpointed enhanced collaboration between the UNDP and the Government of Sri Lanka on strengthened economic governance and improvement of the country’s overall productivity, transparency and efficiency, particularly through digitalization of service delivery and the effective implementation of the new composite anti-corruption law.
ASG Wignaraja also discussed the need for greater investments and incentives to accelerate the renewable energy transition and the valuation and management of natural assets including the island’s significant biodiversity, both on land and underwater, to lay necessary foundations for innovative financing.
She also shared the findings of UNDP’s 2024 Regional Human Development Report for the Asia-Pacific, which provides contemporary data and analysis on the development trends in the larger region and the positioning of Sri Lanka in the broader regional context.