Welcome address by Mr. Subinay Nandy at the launch of SELAJSI

12 Feb 2014

imageMr. Subinay Nandy delivering the welcome address at the launch of SELAJSI

Strengthening Enforcement of Law, Access to Justice and Social Integration (SELAJSI) Programme
Programme Launch
Date: Wednesday 12th February 2014

Welcome Address
By
Mr. Subinay Nandy
UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Sri Lanka

Hon. Minister Rauff Hakeem, Hon. Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara, Hon. Deputy Minister; Ambassadors, High Commissioners and members of the Diplomatic Corps; Secretaries and Senior Government Officials; members of partner organizations; colleagues from the UN System; friends from the media; ladies and gentlemen.

It is indeed my pleasure to extend a very warm welcome to all of you on the occasion of the formal launch of the UNDP-supported “Strengthening Enforcement of Law, Access to Justice and Social Integration” Programme, which is being implemented in close partnership with the Government of Sri Lanka.

We are very fortunate that this strategic initiative, focusing on critical areas such as rule of law, access to justice, women’s empowerment and social integration, is being launched in the presence of Mr. Haoliang Xu, the UN Assistant Secretary-General; Chair of the UN Development Group Asia-Pacific; UNDP Assistant Administrator; and Director of UNDP's Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, who is on mission to Sri Lanka this week.

Ladies and Gentlemen, as you may know, the year 2013 marked the beginning of a new programming cycle for the United Nations in Sri Lanka. Under the umbrella of the United Nations Development Assistance Framework for a five-year period 2013-2017, UNDP in close consultation with the Government of Sri Lanka developed its Country Programme for the same period 2013-2017, which maps out the main areas of intervention, and provides the basis for programmes and projects to be developed.

I am pleased to acknowledge that this nationally implemented Programme was designed following an extensive stakeholder consultation process led by the Government of Sri Lanka, and has brought together the Ministries of Justice; National Languages and Social Integration; Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms; and Child Development and Women’s Affairs, as its four main implementing partners. I strongly believe that with four Ministries taking ownership of this Programme, such an arrangement will allow us to achieve greater results and bring meaningful change, by having all key counterparts around the table under a multi-sectoral coordinated and integrated approach. This, I feel, is the greatest strength of the Programme. Such a multi-sectoral approach is also aligned to the Government’s key policy documents such as the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission Action Plan, the National Action Plan for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights, and the National Policy Framework on Social Integration.

I take this opportunity to place on record UNDP’s recognition of the long-standing partnership between UNDP and the Government of Sri Lanka vis-à-vis the Ministry of National Languages and Social Integration in working in the area of access to justice for almost ten years, which paved the way for the formulation of this new Programme.

I also wish to highlight that UNDP provides leadership to Pillar 3 of the UN Development Assistance Framework on Governance, Human Rights, Gender Equality, Social Inclusion and Protection. The partnerships and networks built through this Programme can support the UN System to engage with key stakeholders for more effective coordination of support under this Pillar, for a wider outreach and impact.

I would like to extend my sincere appreciation once again to the Hon. Ministers and Deputy Minister; Ambassadors, High Commissioners and members of the Diplomatic Corps; Secretaries and Senior Government Officials; and partner organizations, for your presence in support of this Programme.

More information on SELAJSI is available here: http://www.lk.undp.org/content/srilanka/en/home/operations/projects/democratic_governance/strengthening-enforcement-of-law--access-to-justice-and-social-i.html