Category Archives: Latest News

UN and World Scouting: Shared Values, Shared Goals



The World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) in the Asia Pacific Region , in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Scout Association held a workshop on Environment Education for scout leaders, numbering to 48 internationals and 20 local scouts on 3rd October 2017 at the Paradise Hotel located in the picturesque site in Yapahuwa (in North Western Province), one of the ephemeral capitals of medieval Sri Lanka.
WOSM, being the largest international Scouting organization, has the consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social council (ECOSOC).
The UN and the Scouts share the same values.

The UN believes strongly in Scouting.
“Scouting teaches individual compassion and scouts make their society better for all “ – António Gutterres, UN Secretary General
Message of UN Secretary General to Scouting:

The UN believes strongly in Scouting.
This partnership is a great opportunity to bring more sustainability to our planet.
3rd October 2017 – UNIC Colombo takes SDGs and YUNGA UN* to the Wokshop on Environment Education for Scout Leaders in the Asia-Pacific Region.

Cross section of the participants.

UNIC explained how the UN system is engaged in environmental protection in diverse ways, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) being the lead agency in this area.

Global Citizenship: UNIC while appreciating the sense of global solidarity that has been emerged by the scouts during their stay together stated that the spirit of global citizenship which makes, not a city, but a community.
Unity: It was heartening to learn by UNIC the spirit of unity of scouting spread by the participants during the period of their stay together. They were very much enthusiastic to learn about the SDGs and impressed with UNIC’s promotional items.

Peace: UNIC emphasized the fact that the subject of peace and peace education has been of constant concern for world scouting as it was for its founder , Lord Baden Powell. Since the inception of the Movement, Scouting has always been a peaceful and pacifying movement.
SDGs: The 17 Global Goals to be achieved by 2030 were discussed as the main segment of UNIC’s awareness programme.
Life below Water For more details, please visit
The former Chief Commissioner of SLSA, Professor Nimal de Silva is seen working on the SDG jigsaw puzzle.
*YOUNGA UN: Formed in 2009, the Youth and United Nations Global Alliance (YUNGA) is a partnership between United Nations agencies, civil society organizations and other entities that work with children and young people.
UNIC staff with a participant from Philippine.
UNIC Colombo is thankful to Mr. Dharshane Ranatunga of Sri Lanka Scouts Association for coordinating this event.

72nd Session of the UN General Assembly ends in New York

General Assembly Seventy-second session
Opening of the 72nd Session of the General Assembly
New PGA opens GA72

The annual General Debate of the General Assembly took place from 19 – 25 September 2017.


President of UN General Assembly urges world leaders to engage in working for the people.
Miroslav Lajčák, President of the 72nd session of the General Assembly, addresses the annual general debate. UN Photo/Cia Pak
19 September 2017 – Opening the annual general debate, the President of the United Nations General Assembly today stressed the need for more work on prevention, a greater focus on people, and keeping promises made to advance prosperity and protect the planet.
“We are spending too much time and money reacting to conflicts, and not enough on preventing them,” Miroslav Lajčák told more than 120 world leaders gathered in General Assembly Hall in New York.
He called for integrating prevention with development and human rights work, and reviewing how UN does its peace operations and counterterrorism work.
“When people can live decent lives – when rights are respected – when rule of law is present in everyday life – it is harder to turn societies to conflict,” he said.
The Assembly President told the audience that the UN was not made for them, but for people.
“We know that many people have become disillusioned. Countless others around the world, however, have high hopes for us. They see the UN’s blue flag as a first sign of safety and the beginning of change,” Mr. Lajčák said.
He noted that the 193 members of the UN General Assembly will face one of its biggest test with the process of adopting the first Global Compact for Migration at a time when world leaders have varying opinions on the phenomenon.
“We cannot turn this into an exercise of bureaucracy. We cannot be left with an agreement that works only on paper,” he stressed.
Lack of accountability and follow through also potentially plague work to counter international terrorism, and following up on violations of international humanitarian law.
In his first speech to the high-level debate as President of the General Assembly, Mr. Lajčák also called on the international community to keep its promises to curb poverty and protect the environment by following through with commitments made in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change.
“I see the priority clusters of ‘peace and prevention,’ ‘people and planet and prosperity as three sides of a triangle. They might not all be the same length, or the same width, but one is as important as the other,” he said.
Closing the address, Mr. Lajčák urged world leaders to change the way they work on a daily basis and engage in real dialogue, not a succession of monologues: “We cannot fall for an end to business as usual – and then continue to do business as usual.”
If we are looking for a change in how the UN operates around the world, we should start here in New York.”

UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres addresses the 72nd of General Assembly
The General Assembly (GA) is the main deliberative, policymaking and representative organ of the UN. Decisions on important questions, such as those on peace and security, admission of new members and budgetary matters are taken at the GA.
The General Assembly meets annually in regular session, intensively from September to December, and resumes in January until all issues on the agenda are addressed – which often is just before the next session starts.
The Assembly has adopted its own rules of procedure and elects its President for each session.
The 72nd Regular Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 72) which convened at UN Headquarters on 12 September 2017 ended on 25 September.
Date: September 12, 2017 to September 25, 2017
Location: New York, United States
Organiser: UN Secretariat
For more information see:

Address by H.E. Maithripala Sirsena, President of Sri Lanka at the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly.
New York, 19 September 2017. (English Interpretation)

– Original Sinhala Language Audio at:…
– English Interpretation Audio at:…

Readout of the Secretary-General’s meeting with H.E. Mr. Maithripala Sirisena,
President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
The Secretary-General met today (23 September) with H.E. Mr. Maithripala Sirisena, President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.

The Secretary-General encouraged the President and his Government to secure a long-term political settlement through constitutional reforms. He encouraged the President to establish the remaining transitional justice mechanisms.

The Secretary-General and the President discussed the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. He thanked Sri Lanka for its generous contribution to the United Nations Haiti Cholera Response Trust Fund.

New York, 23 September 2017

Secretary-General Appoints Alison Smale of United Kingdom Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has appointed Alison Smale of the United Kingdom as the next Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications, Department of Public Information. She succeeds Cristina Gallach of Spain, to whom the Secretary-General is grateful for her commitment and dedicated service to the Organization. The Secretary-General also wishes to extend his appreciation to Maher Nasser, who served as Acting Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications.
Chief of Bureau at The New York Times in Berlin since 2013, Ms. Smale brings with her almost 40 years of international journalism experience in which she held some of the most prestigious positions in the profession. She has a proven track record as a reporter, editor and senior leader. Appointed Executive Editor of the International Herald Tribune (IHT) Paris in 2008, she is the first and only woman to have held that post.
Ms. Smale joined the IHT in 2004 as Managing Editor from The New York Times, where she had been Deputy Foreign Editor since 2002, having joined in 1998 as Weekend Foreign Editor. Earlier in her career she reported for United Press International and The Associated Press as Bureau Chief for Central and Eastern Europe, Vienna (1986-1998) and Correspondent, Moscow and Bonn (1983-1986, 1978-1983).
Having studied in Bristol, Munich and at Stanford University in the United States, Ms. Smale holds a Bachelor of Arts in German and politics, as well as a Master of Arts in journalism.


The Essential UN
Take a moment to learn about the UN
UN Logo and Flag
The logo and flag of the UN have become its symbols as it carries out its work on the world stage. They have the practical effect of identifying the United Nations in areas of trouble and conflict to any and all parties concerned. They are also aspirational symbols, for they speak to the hopes and dreams of people the world over, for peace and unity. On 20 October 1947 the General Assembly adopted resolution 167 (II) on the United Nations Flag.
Description: The official emblem of the United Nations in white, centered on a light blue background (colour code PMS 279 in the Pantone Matching System).
Proportions: Hoist (width) : Fly (length) 2:3 or 3:5 or the same proportions as the national flag of any country in which the UN flag is flown. The emblem is one half of the hoist and is entirely centered.
Use: The use of the flag is regulated by the United Nations Flag Code and Regulations (ST/SGB/132) of January 1967.

The United Nations Emblem

The design is “a map of the world representing an azimuthal equidistant projection centered on the North Pole, inscribed in a wreath consisting of crossed conventionalized branches of the olive tree, in gold on a field of smoke-blue with all water areas in white. The projection of the map extends to 60 degrees south latitude, and includes five concentric circles (A/107)”.
Symbolism: The olive branches symbolize peace. The world map depicts the area of concern to the United Nations in achieving its main purpose; peace and security.
Use: The use of the emblem is restricted. The restrictions are based on the following documents:
• General Assembly resolution 92(I);
• Regulations for the control and limitation of documentation –
Addendum – Use of the United Nations emblem on documents and publications (ST/AI/189/Add.21) of 15 January 1979 and its Amendment 1 of 23 January 2008.
An international organization that helps to build a better world.

Take a moment to learn about the UN. The United Nations remains an essential pillar of the international system, working around the world, around the clock, for peace, sustainable development and human rights. At a time when challenges are increasingly global, and our fates are inexorably intertwined, understanding the United Nations itself—its aims, workings and ideals—is more important than ever. The Essential UN website, available in multiple languages, provides a succinct and interactive way to quickly grasp the essentials of the Organization through fast facts, short videos, information cards and fun quizzes.
Video “What is the UN?” is available on:

What UN does

The United Nations serves as a global forum where countries can raise and discuss the most difficult issues, including problems of war and peace. In addition to maintaining international peace and security, the United Nations protects human rights, delivers humanitarian aid, promotes sustainable development and upholds international law.
UN Action: 10 Facts
The United Nations
• Provides food and assistance to 80 million people in 80 countries
• Supplies vaccines to 45% of the world’s children, helping save 3 million lives a year
• Assists and protects 65.3 million people fleeing war, famine and persecution
• Works with 195 nations to hold the rise in global temperature below 2°C/3.6°F
• Keeps peace with 117,000 peacekeepers in 15 operations on 4 continents
• Fights extreme poverty, helping improve the lives of more than 1.1 billion people
• Protects and promotes human rights globally and through 80 treaties/declarations
• Coordinates US$22.5 billion appeal for the humanitarian needs of 93.5 million people
• Uses diplomacy to prevent conflict: assists some 67 countries a year with their elections
• Supports maternal health, helping over 1 million women a month overcome pregnancy risks

Did you know?

Children playing. UN Photo
As the world’s only truly universal global organization, the United Nations has become the foremost forum to address issues that transcend national boundaries and cannot be resolved by any one country acting alone. Taking a global view reveals some interesting facts.

Did you know:
• that most of the world’s people live no more than 200 miles from the sea, or
• that decolonization changed the face of the planet, creating more than 80 nations, or
• that women in the labour market still earn on average a quarter less than men globally?
The idea of the United Nations was born during World War II (1939-1945). The name “United Nations”, coined by United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt, was first used in the Declaration by United Nations of 1 January 1942, during the Second World War, when representatives of 26 nations pledged their Governments to continue fighting together against the Axis Powers. World leaders who had collaborated to end the war felt a strong need for a mechanism that would help bring peace and stop future wars. They realized that this was possible only if all nations worked together through a global organization. The United Nations was to be that Organization.

Charter of the United Nations
The founding document of the United Nations, the UN Charter, was signed on 26 June 1945, in San Francisco.
According to its Charter, the UN aims:
• to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war,
• to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights,
• to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained,
• and to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a milestone document in the history of human rights. Proclaimed by the UN General Assembly on 10 December 1948 as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations, it sets out, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected.
The Declaration has been translated into more than 500 languages.

Member States
States are admitted to membership in the United Nations by decision of the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council. The recognition of a new State or Government is an act that only other States and Governments may grant or withhold. The UN currently has 193 member states. The Members of the United Nations pay for everything that the Organization does, according to a scale of assessments agreed upon by all. This scale is based on a country’s ability to pay, national income and population.

Secretary-General António Guterres (right) and Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed.
Equal parts diplomat and advocate, civil servant and CEO, the Secretary-General is a symbol of United Nations ideals and a spokesman for the interests of the world’s peoples, in particular the poor and vulnerable among them. The current Secretary-General, and the ninth occupant of the post, is Mr. António Guterres of Portugal, who took office on 1 January 2017. Since 1997, the Secretary-General has been assisted in managing Secretariat operations by the Deputy Secretary-General, a post currently held by Ms. Amina J. Mohammed of Nigeria.

The Nobel Peace Prize medal. UN Photo
In 70 years, the United Nations, its specialised agencies, related agencies, funds, programmes and staff were awarded the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize eleven times. Two Secretaries-General, Kofi Annan and Dag Hammarskjöld, were also honoured for their work by the Norwegian Nobel Committee.

Funds, Programmes, Specialized Agencies and Others

The UN system, also known unofficially as the “UN family”, is made up of the UN itself and many affiliated programmes, funds, and specialized agencies, all with their own membership, leadership, and budget. The programmes and funds are financed through voluntary rather than assessed contributions. The Specialized Agencies are independent international organizations funded by both voluntary and assessed contributions.
What is UN Peacekeeping?
United Nations Peacekeeping helps countries torn by conflict create conditions for lasting peace. UN Peacekeeping is a unique global partnership. It draws together the legal and political authority of the Security Council, the personnel and financial contributions of Member States, the support of host countries and the accumulated experience of the Secretariat in managing operations in the field. It is this partnership that gives UN Peacekeeping its legitimacy, sustainability and global reach.

UN Peacekeeping facts
• Peacekeeping operations since 1948: 71
• Current peacekeeping operations: 15
• Total number of personnel: about 112,000
• Annual budget: about $8 billion

The Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth serves as a global advocate for addressing the needs and rights of young people, as well as for bringing the United Nations closer to them. The Envoy’s Office is part of the United Nations Secretariat and supports multi-stakeholder partnerships related to the United Nations system-wide action plan on youth and to youth volunteer initiatives. The office also promotes the empowerment and foster the leadership of youth at the national, regional, and global levels, including through exploring and encourages mechanisms for young people’s participation in the work of the United Nations and in political and economic processes with a special focus on the most marginalized and vulnerable youth.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has appointed Jayathma Wickramanayake of Sri Lanka as his Envoy on Youth. She succeeded Ahmad Alhendawi of Jordan. The success of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development depends on empowering young people as rights-holders, agents of change and torchbearers.
Ask the UN: FAQs
Frequently asked questions about the UN answered succinctly by the Dag Hammarskjöld Library. All answers are provided with references to official sources.
For example:
• How much does my country contribute to the UN budget and how is it determined?
• Does the United Nations have an army?
• How do I file a human rights violation complaint with the United Nations?

Please visit:

UN tour guides answer questions about the
• UN budget
• UN humanitarian and development activities.
• action on peace and security.
Explore documents, votes, speeches, public domain publications and more!
The United Nations Digital Library (UNDL) is now available! The platform provides access to UN-produced materials in digital format free of charge. The system incorporates content presented in various ” stand-alone databases” such as the UN Bibliographic Information System (UNBISNET) and the UN Official Document System (ODS) – almost 900,000 records and counting. It provides one global point of access to UN information – current and historical. Enhancements will be rolled out on a regular basis.
What can you find in the United Nations Digital Library now?
– UN documents and open access publications
– UN voting data and speeches
– UN maps
– UN content freely available around the world
– Content in 6+ languages
Official Languages of UN
There are six official languages of the UN. These are Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish. The correct interpretation and translation of these six languages, in both spoken and written form, is very important to the work of the Organization, because this enables clear and concise communication on issues of global importance.
UN on Social Media

Connect to UN Radio

What Is Sustainable Development?

Sustainable development (SD) is defined as “development that meets the needs and aspirations of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. Thus, sustainable development is the organizing principle for sustaining finite resources necessary to provide for the needs of future generations of life on the planet. (Brundtland Report)
Sustainable development recognizes that growth must be both inclusive and environmentally sound to reduce poverty and build shared prosperity for today’s population and continue to meet the needs of future generations.
On September 25th 2015, at an historic UN summit, world leaders adopted a set of goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all as part of a new sustainable development agenda to be achieved by 2030 . The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is a set of 17 “Global Goals” with 169 targets between them. Each goal has specific targets. For the goals to be reached, everyone needs to do their part: governments, the private sector, civil society and people.

Sustainable Development Goals:
Improve Life All Around The Globe

The new Goals are unique in that they call for action by all countries, poor, rich and middle-income to promote prosperity while protecting the planet. They recognize that ending poverty must go hand-in-hand with strategies that build economic growth and addresses a range of social needs including education, health, social protection, and job opportunities, while tackling climate change and environmental protection.
Human Rights

The term “human rights” was mentioned seven times in the UN’s founding Charter, making the promotion and protection of human rights a key purpose and guiding principle of the Organization. In 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights brought human rights into the realm of international law. Since then, the Organization has diligently protected human rights through legal instruments and on-the-ground activities.
How does the UN promote and protect human rights?
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) ,Human Rights Council, Human Rights Treaty Bodies, Special Procedures, UNDG-HRM, and Special Advisers on the Prevention of Genocide and the Responsibility to Protect

Deliver Humanitarian Aid

One of the purposes of the United Nations, as stated in its Charter, is “to achieve international co-operation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character.” The UN first did this in the aftermath of the Second World War on the devastated continent of Europe, which it helped to rebuild. The Organization is now relied upon by the international community to coordinate humanitarian relief operations due to natural and man-made disasters in areas beyond the relief capacity of national authorities alone. The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) of the UN Secretariat is responsible for coordinating responses to emergencies.
What key UN entities deliver humanitarian aid?
Four UN entities, UNDP, UNHCR,UNICEF and the WFP have primary roles in the delivery of relief assistance. UNDP is the agency responsible for operational activities for natural disaster mitigation, prevention and preparedness. When emergencies occur, UNDP Resident Coordinators coordinate relief and rehabilitation efforts at the national level.

UN Observances -Mark your calendar

The United Nations observes designated days, weeks, years, and decades, each with a theme, or topic. By creating special observances, the United Nations promotes international awareness and action on these issues. The majority of observances have been established by resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly, although some have been designated by UN specialized agencies. The United Nations also observes anniversaries of key events in its history.

Around-the-clock news
Check out the UN News stream for the latest news, photos, videos, audio, tweets and Secretary-General’s statements, updated continuously throughout the day.
UN Video Products
To see a full selection of UN videos go to
This comprehensive handbook explains the structure of the United Nations, how the Organization works, the main issues it addresses and its importance for people everywhere.

DPI/The Essential UN -Fast Facts -New Website Page/750
(August 2017)

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Information For a Better World
United Nations Information Centres are the principal source of information about the UN system in the countries where they are located. They are responsible for promoting public understanding and support for the aims and activities of the UN.

United Nations Information Centre
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Telephone: 94 (11)2580691-8 Ext. 2100/2101/2102 Fax: 94 (11) 2581116 • Mobile: 077 3134308
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International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples (9 August)

The International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples is commemorated annually on 9 August, in recognition of the first meeting of the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Populations, held in Geneva in 1982. The International Day was established by the General Assembly in December 1994.

There are an estimated 370 million indigenous people in some 90 countries around the world. Practicing unique traditions, they retain social, cultural, economic and political characteristics that are distinct from those of the dominant societies in which they live.

Statue-of-former-vedda-Chief-Uru Warige Thissahamy

Community Chief Uru Warige Wannila Aththo, a leader with a vision, reads the Declaration

UNIC Colombo, celebrating the Day 2016 with Indigenous community at its heritage site.

Radio Station of Indigenous People of Sri Lanka at Dambana.a>


Government and UN sign Sustainable Development Framework for 2018 – 2022

Thursday 03 August, Colombo: The Government of Sri Lanka and the United Nations signed the 2018 – 2022 UN Sustainable Development Framework (UNSDF) today, the agreement which pegs UN assistance to Sri Lanka’s long term development priorities.

The UNSDF provides the overarching framework for the work of the United Nations in Sri Lanka in line with the national priorities of the Maithri Palanayak, Sthaavara Ratak: A Compassionate Governance, A Stable Country, the Public Investment Programme, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals.

The UNSDF was signed by Mr. M. I. M. Rafeek, Secretary, Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs and Ms. Una McCauley, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in the presence of Dr. Harsha De Silva, Deputy Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs and Mr. Haoliang Xu, UN ASG, UNDP Regional Director and chair of the Regional UN Development Group along with representatives of the UN Country Team.

Speaking on the Framework Mr. Haoliang Xu stated “The UNSDF will support the Government to achieve peaceful, just, inclusive and sustainable development with a special focus on leaving no one behind and reaching the furthest behind first.”

Elaborating on the UNSDF, Dr. Harsha De Silva, Deputy Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs said “We are extremely pleased that the UN will be investing over USD 300 million for the development of Sri Lanka over the next 5 years. The 4 strategic areas of the framework; improved data, innovative public institutions, social security and resilience to climate change and disaster and especially evidence based policy planning are extremely important for the development of Sri Lanka.”.

The UN Country Team in Sri Lanka worked in collaboration with the Government, and in consultation with civil society and development partners, to ensure that the framework is grounded in the realities of the country. The UNSDF serves as a common strategy in four strategic areas of focus; towards improved data, knowledge management and evidence based policy; strengthened, innovative public institutions and engagement towards a lasting peace; social security and socio economic resilience; and enhancing resilience to climate change and disasters and strengthening environmental management.

The UNSDF will guide the collaborative work of UN agencies for 2018 – 2022 and support national efforts to reduce disparities and make a positive difference in the lives of all people.


For further information:

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UN Envoy on Youth : Believing in the simple yet powerful phrase: “Nothing about us, without Us”:

“Armed with nothing but my passion for youth empowerment, I’m here today….”,says the incoming UN Envoy on Youth , Ms. Jayathma Wickramanayake of Sri Lanka Issuing her press statement on her appointment as UN Envoy for Youth.

Statement by incoming United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Jayathma Wickramanayake

22 June 2017, Colombo: On 20th of June, 2017, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. António Guterres, appointed me as his next Envoy on Youth. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Secretary-General for entrusting me with this important responsibility, which I accept with humility and determination.

I also want to take this opportunity to appreciate Mr. Ahmed Alhendawi’s remarkable service as the former Envoy on Youth, and thank him for his continued guidance and support.

Having represented Sri Lankan youth as a UN youth delegate and a member of the Youth Parliament as well as a youth negotiator in the post-2015 process that led to the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and having contributed to the post-conflict reconciliation process in Sri Lanka, I take great pride in this new important role as the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth. Today I am grateful to all who have worked with me over the years supporting a rights-based approach to youth development and to those who gave me the inspiration to come this far.

As a young woman from a small island in the Indian Ocean, with a developing economy and deeply rooted conservative norms and traditions, armed with nothing but my passion for youth empowerment, it is fair to say that I am here today against all the odds.

I thank all those who conveyed their sincere greetings on this occasion and would like to reaffirm my commitment to working together for a better world for young people. To achieve this requires a truly global partnership that will ensure the participation of young people worldwide. This must include the most vulnerable youth and address issues of participation and conflict prevention. I believe that my background in working with communities from former conflict regions of Sri Lanka will give me the ability to understand these issues well.

I have always believed in the simple yet powerful phrase: “nothing about us, without us”. In an era where the world is quickly moving to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, it is of utmost importance that the voices of young people are heard, valued and acted upon.

I hope that together we can work towards the goal of making our common future more youth friendly by prioritizing youth rights and ensuring political empowerment, especially of those who are most marginalized and vulnerable.

I look forward to arriving in New York to serve in my role as Envoy on Youth and to working with young people around the world to help realize the Secretary-General’s vision on youth.

Jayathma Wickramanayake
22 June 2017, Colombo

Congratulations, Jayathma, a daughter of Sri Lanka to be the global advocate for youth!!!

The next UN Envoy on Youth is from Sri Lanka.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has appointed Jayathma Wickramanayake of Sri Lanka as his next Envoy on Youth. She will succeed Ahmad Alhendawi of Jordan to whom the Secretary-General is grateful for his dedicated service in addressing the needs and rights of young people, bringing the work of the United Nations closer to them. The success of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development depends on empowering young people as rights-holders, agents of change and torchbearers.

The Envoy on Youth is mandated with the task of bringing the voices of young people to the United Nations System and bringing the UN closer to them. Moreover, the Envoy on Youth also works with different UN agencies, governments, civil society, academia and media stakeholders towards enhancing, empowering and strengthening the position of young people within and outside of the United Nations system. The role of the Envoy on Youth is also described by the UN Secretary-General as a “harmoniser between all UN agencies”[citation needed] bringing them together to explore cooperation opportunities for working with and for young people.

Having represented and motivated global youth development on an international level since the age of 21, notably during high-level United Nations initiatives including the declaration of World Youth Skills Day, Ms. Wickramanayake has also played a key role in transforming the youth development sector at the national level, notably through the creation of a large movement for civic and political engagement of young people named “Hashtag Generation.”

Presently working as an officer of the Sri Lanka Administrative Service, Ms. Wickramanayake has previously served as Secretary to the Secretary General of the Parliament of Sri Lanka (2016-2017), Project Officer-Youth, One-Text Initiative in Sri Lanka (2015-2016), Member and Youth Lead Negotiator, International Youth Task Force of the World Conference on Youth 2014 (2013-2014) and Official Youth Delegate to the United Nations, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Skills Development (2012-2013). She was furthermore a Senator in the Sri Lankan Youth Parliament (2013-2015).

Born in 1990, Ms. Wickramanayake is reading for Master of Development Studies, at the University of Colombo and holds a Bachelor degree in Science, from the same university
The Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth serves as a global advocate for addressing the needs and rights of young people, as well as for bringing the United Nations closer to them. The Envoy’s Office is part of the United Nations Secretariat and supports multi-stakeholder partnerships related to the United Nations system-wide action plan on youth and to youth volunteer initiatives. The office also promotes the empowerment and foster the leadership of youth at the national, regional, and global levels, including through exploring and encourages mechanisms for young people’s participation in the work of the United Nations and in political and economic processes with a special focus on the most marginalized and vulnerable youth.
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has appointed Jayathma Wickramanayake of Sri Lanka as his next Envoy on Youth. She will succeed Ahmad Alhendawi of Jordan to whom the Secretary-General is grateful for his dedicated service in addressing the needs and rights of young people, bringing the work of the United Nations closer to them. The success of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development depends on empowering young people as rights-holders, agents of change and torchbearers.

UNIC Colombo while looking forward to extend her all the support, wishes Jayathma every success in her future endeavours!!

For more news on UN Youth Envoy, please visit: