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Speeches

R. M. Bandara: Address to World Summit 2017

Address to World Summit 2017, Seoul, Korea, February 1 to 5, 2017

 

I am indeed honored to attend this prestigious conference which has broadened our foresight and scope in achieving sustainable peace despite security and human development challenges that have become almost common in countries. Amid terrorist activities, which pathetically engage with anger, blood shedding and disasters, we are trying to have control over our lives, despite our desire to embrace real freedom in which we can decide who to be, what to do and how to live.

I am of the view that human development is the platform that bears and helps the existence of security and sustainable peace. If people are marginalized, they lose trust in the existing system and feel isolated from the mainstream. This sense of alienation leads them to be the easy target and exploited by extremists, terrorists and wrongdoers. The question of human development has nothing to do with a higher level of national income. Countries with a higher level of income still have internal conflicts, which are deeply rooted in poor human development. If we fail to foster human development, which is different from the concept of human resource development, we will not achieve security and sustainable peace in the world.

Having caring and sharing culture is not foreign to our countries. An instance of this is when Buddhism was brought to Sri Lanka by Arhat Mahinda Thero, a special envoy of the king of India. One of the earliest messages on caring and sharing culture was delivered by him to the then Sri Lankan kingDevanampiyathissa.  "O' great King! the birds of the air and the beasts on the earth have an equal right to live and move about in any part of this land as thou. The land belongs to the people and all other beings and thou art only the guardian of it."

This clearly shows that, at that time, a caring and sharing culture had extended beyond the equity and equality of human beings. However, we have lost these excellent concepts due to numerous reasons on the way of our so-called journey toward prosperity, which merely looked at national income in numbers.

Sri Lanka, too, faced a prolonged internal conflict for almost 30 years. Hundreds of thousands of Sri Lankans lost their lives, relatives, friends and limbs, and physical properties due to this disaster, which had a tremendous psychological impact, which, of course, cannot be measured in monetary terms. 

The government of Sri Lanka has unmistakably and correctly identified the root cause of this problem and, at present, is in the process of promoting reconciliation among Sri Lankans, which backed by  good governance, can ultimately lead to the human development of the entire community. We strongly believe the main concept of sustainable development is “no one left behind.”

Let’s put our efforts together—irrespective of wealth, boundaries of land; language; faith; or the color of our skin—to make a better future for our children, by fostering a culture of human development to achieve sustainable peace in the world.

Thank you.

 


Hon. Ranjith Madduma Bandara, Minister, Ministry of Public Administration & Management, Sri Lanka

The Hon. Ranjith Madduma Bandara is a Sri Lankan politician and a member of the Parliament of Sri Lanka. He is the current minister of the Ministry of Public Administration and Management. In his distinguished public career, he has served as Minister of Tourism Development, Minister of Agriculture, Land, Irrigation, Youth, Employment and Sports. He is Chairman of the Public Service’s National Trade Union Federation and Senior Vice Chairman of the United National Party.


To go to the 2017 World Summit Conference Schedule, click here.