President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, Maithripala Sirisena undertook a visit to Singapore on 23-25 January 2019 to deliver a Keynote Speech at the Third Forum of Ministers and Environment Authorities of Asia Pacific, jointly organised by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Ministry for the Environment and Water Resources of Singapore.
Addressing the Forum, President Sirisena, among others, emphasised that human activities should not threaten the regeneration capacity of nature, which will in turn help achieving sustainable development.
He further stated that amidst all the challenges of adverse climate change effects, Sri Lanka has commissioned Moragahakanda and Kaluganga multipurpose water resources projects to combat the adverse effects of climate change by providing required water for drinking and agriculture for the dry zone communities. President Sirisena also expressed Sri Lanka’s commitment, as a partner in the Asia Pacific region, to the productive outcome of the forum making invaluable contribution to the forthcoming Session of the UN Environment Assembly.
On the side-line, President Sirisena met with the Estonian Minister of the Environment Siim Kiisler, who is also the President of the Fourth Session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA 4). Minister Kiisler appreciated Sri Lanka’s initiatives on the themes, food waste, plastic waste and mangrove conservation for the Fourth Session of UNEA 4.
While in Singapore, President Sirisena was hosted for a luncheon by his Singapore counterpart President Madam Halimah Yacob at the Istana. The two leaders reaffirmed the friendship and exchanged views on areas of mutual interest.
President Sirisena also met with Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong on 25th January 2019 and discussed several matters of mutual interest and cooperation with a view to further enhancing the growing bilateral relations between the two countries.
Singapore’s Minister for Social and Family Development and Second Minister for National Development Desmond Lee, accompanied by officials from the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Central Narcotic Bureau of Singapore met with President Sirisena and the Sri Lanka delegation to share insights into Singapore’s approach in drug control.
A group of prospective Singaporean investors also called on the Sri Lankan President to explore investment opportunities in hospitality, food processing and agriculture sectors in Sri Lanka.