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Secretary-General meets Sri Lankan Prime Minister in Colombo

5 August 2018

Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland has met the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, Ranil Wickremesinghe, during her first official visit to the country.

In a wide-ranging discussion, they discussed ways in which the Commonwealth Secretariat could collaborate with Sri Lanka, especially around sustainable ocean development, open trade and trade facilitation instruments, climate change, and social development through sports.

The Secretary-General and the Prime Minister also discussed the priorities that should be pushed during the forthcoming United Nations General Assembly meeting, particularly around open intra-Commonwealth trade.

The Secretary-General thanked Sri Lanka for its substantial contribution to the Commonwealth Small States Trade Finance Facility and proposed ways to augment the country’s leadership on the Commonwealth Blue Charter's mangrove action group.

Secretary-General Scotland gave the Prime Minister the Secretariat’s suite of toolkits on governance and accountability, and described how the Secretariat is ideally placed to facilitate the sharing of best-practice between Commonwealth countries.

The Secretary-General suggested that cricket could be a pedal for community engagement and social development. “Our ‘Peace at the Crease’ brings together men and women, young and old, and people from all faiths and those of none to face some of the most challenging issues of today,” she said.

The Prime Minister acknowledged the Secretariat’s support. Following the meeting, the Prime Minister said, “It was a pleasure to meet with the Commonwealth Secretary-General. We are delivering on our plan to build Sri Lanka’s reputation, strengthen trade relations with the world and ensure that our country has a seat at the international table.”