As part of its expanding worldwide outreach, the Global Compact was launched in Sri Lanka on 21 April, an event that included senior government officials, representatives from the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and leading Sri Lankan companies, as well a delegation of U.S. business executives.
Mr. Bradman Weerakoon, Secretary to the Prime Minister, delivered the keynote address in which he emphasized the critical importance of the Global Compact in helping to promote sustainable growth at a time when Sri Lanka is aggressively pursuing peace and economic stability.
Mr. Weerakoon noted that key features of the Global Compact are complementary to the Government's Regaining Sri Lanka strategy, which envisions a greater private sector-led socio-economic development thrust. "We have realized that the Government cannot perform all services but (must) empower and facilitate the private sector to take up certain responsibilities. In carrying out its new role a socially responsible private sector could be guided by the Global Compact, which requires voluntary adoption of global principles on human rights, environment and labour," he said.
The event also including the following speakers and attendees: Mr. Tilak de Zoysa, Chairman of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce; Mr. Miguel Bermeo, Resident Representative of the UNDP; Ms. Claudia Coenjaerts, Director ILO; Mr. Arjuna Mahendran Chairman/Director-General of BOI; Ms. Neela Marikkar, Representative “Sri Lanka First”; Mr. William Beckner, Leader of the US Delegation; and Dr. P. L. De Silva, Senior Advisor, Global Compact.