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Neutral nations caught between shifting global power dynamics: SL Prez


Neutral nations caught between shifting global power dynamics: SL PrezSeptember 22, 2023

Colombo, Sep 22 (IANS) Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe said on Thursday that countries like Sri Lanka find it hard to remain neutral and non-aligned amidst superpowers’ rivalries and new alliances.

“Neutral nations like Sri Lanka in the global South find themselves caught between shifting global power dynamics,” President Wickremesinghe said while addressing the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York.

He asserted that global power conflicts are adding economic uncertainty, disrupting supply chains and causing inflation, food, and energy insecurity worldwide.

“The war in Ukraine has far-reaching and severe financial and humanitarian repercussions on food, hunger and debt in all parts of the world including Sri Lanka. It is recalled that the UN Charter vests on powerful states in the Security Council the responsibility to maintain international peace and security and to deescalate rather than ignite conflict,” Wickremesinghe said.

“We need to halt the momentum where this and other big power tensions are spilling over into established areas of international rules-based cooperation forged over decades of multilateral negotiation, ranging from international trade to ocean governance,” he added.

Wickremesinghe also pointed out that despite promises of assistance by rich countries in the area of climate change mitigation which impacts countries such as Sri Lanka, “rich countries have not been delivering to expectations”.

“While key issues such as the Bridgetown Initiative and the necessity to address the debt of low-income countries are being discussed in this Assembly, it is not commanding the attention it deserves,” he said.

“Unfortunately, the Security Council has failed to give priority to these connected issues of climate change, debt relief and sustainable development. This impacts the future of mankind. The survival of the planet must be our priority, we cannot afford to go into this war with a divided high command. The future of all species on the globe is dependent on our ability to put aside our rivalries until this crisis is solved,” he added.

Sri Lanka’s head of state also pledged before the UNGA that his country is committed to climate action.




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