Sri Lankan UN, UPF National Speaking Tour
By UPF Asia, Robert Kittel: The Universal Peace Federation was honored and grateful to partner with the United Nations Information Centre, Colombo for our recently-concluded national speaking tour in Sri Lanka.
In less than three months after the United Nations adopted their Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in September of this year, Sri Lanka may well be the first nation in the world to complete a national tour to raise public awareness and promote the SDGs in every province (state).
Together we traveled to all nine provinces of this beautiful island nation promoting the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN. In addition to the one day set aside for meeting VIPs, the program was concluded in 10 days, Dec. 4-13, 2015.
It was a win-win situation. UPF addressed peace and development at the micro level focusing on the family. This was complemented by the UN presentations that highlighted implementing the 17 SDGs at the community and national levels.
The UN team was led by Mrs. Hiranthi Gunawardena, the Officer-in-Charge of the United Nations Information Center. Presentations by UN youth leaders were professional, informative, and interactive. The UPF team was led by Dr. Chung Sik Yong, the Regional President of the UPF in Asia.
The tour had the support of the Government to Sri Lanka at the highest levels. The President of Sri Lanka, H.E. Maithripala Sirisena, met with a delegation during the tour and reiterated his government’s support for the UN SDGs. The UN and UPF delegates also met with the Hon. Karu Jayasuriya, Speaker of the Parliament of Sri Lanka, in his office.
In addition, the former Prime Minister, Hon. Prime Minister D.M. Jayarathne, cabinet ministers, ministers, deputy ministers, chief ministers, and members of parliament, both at the national and local levels, attended and supported programs in every city.
Equally important, religious leaders, educators, and leaders of civil society also participated. Perhaps most significantly, nearly 3,000 youth leaders covering all nine venues attended these presentations.