State Minister of Foreign Affairs Vasantha Senanayake led the Sri Lanka Delegation to the 4th International Our Oceans Conference, which was held in Malta from 5th – 6th October 2017. State Minister Senanayake delivered a keynote statement at the Conference conveying the significant steps taken by Sri Lanka to implement commitments made to promote sustainable fisheries, reduce marine pollution and protect coastal communities. He also referred to the amendment to the Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Act in 2017 prohibiting fishing operations utilizing bottom trawl nets towed by motorized or mechanized fishing boats and the steps taken by the Government to reduce the harmful effects of using polythene.
On the sidelines of the Conference, State Minister Senanayake met with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Malta Carmelo Abela and discussed bilateral relations between Sri Lanka and Malta. The two Ministers signed the Implementing Protocol to the EU – Sri Lanka Readmission Agreement. State Minister Senanayake also attended the state dinner hosted by Malta Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and met with heads of delegation of several Asian countries. The Hon. State Minister also had the opportunity to greet H.R.H. The Prince of Wales of the United Kingdom who was a special guest at the Conference.
State Minister Senanayake was accompanied by Ambassador to the European Union Rodney Perera and Dr. Terney Pradeep Kumara, Chief Executive Officer of the Marine Environment Protection Authority.