UNDP Resident Coordinator, Robert Jukham presented a copy of the UNDP Human Development Report 2020 to Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena on January 5, 2021 at the Foreign Ministry.
Foreign Minister Gunawardena appreciated the UNDP’s cooperation with Sri Lanka and expressed his appreciation of UNDP’s response to Covid-19 early interventions.
He mentioned that free education and health policies of Sri Lanka, among other things, have significantly contributed to the country’s achievements in human development. He underscored the commitment of the Government towards achieving Sustainable Development as stated by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in his inaugural speech.
The Minister went on to discuss a wide range of issues affecting the people, for instance micro financing schemes and related vulnerabilities, improvement in digital infrastructure and human-elephant conflict.
Special emphasis was paid to areas where the UNDP can work in collaboration with Sri Lanka in addressing the issues including those related to the SDGs.
UNDP Resident Coordinator, Mr. Jukham complimented Sri Lanka for the progress the country has made over the 30 years that have passed since the first Report.
He also appreciated Sri Lanka’s initiatives towards addressing the effects of climate change and commitment towards environment protection. He provided a briefing on the UNDP’s ongoing assistance to Sri Lanka in various sectors working with a number of Government agencies and reaffirmed the UNDP’s continued cooperation with Sri Lanka.
Reference was also made to a pending ‘virtual mission’ to Sri Lanka by the UNDP Regional Director for Asia and Pacific.
The Human Development Report (HDR) and its Human Development Index (HDI), which rank all countries in the world by their level of human development, remains a powerful voice in the development space.
Sri Lanka has made steady progress and significant achievements in term of Human Development. The country is positioned at 72 in the global HDI ranking.