The Commonwealth of the Future. A new dimension, direction and dynamism from Sri Lanka under the Chairmanship of HE the President. Professor Ranjith Senaratne Vice Chairman. CHOGM 2013 Theme: Growth with Equity: Inclusive Development. A new meaning: From Common Poverty to Common Wealth
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The Commonwealth of the Future A new dimension, direction and dynamism from Sri Lanka under the Chairmanship of HE the President Professor Ranjith Senaratne Vice Chairman
CHOGM 2013 Theme: Growth with Equity: Inclusive Development • A new meaning: From Common Poverty to Common Wealth • Wealth not only tangible physical wealth and financial assets, but also intangible human capital and natural capital • Promoting a Sustainable, Equitable and Inclusive Development (SEID) • through a spirit of partnership and cooperation that is engaging, collaborative and unifying rather than prescriptive and divisive and judgemental and punitive.
The Commonwealth: Strength and Geographic Distribution • Second only to UN comprising 53 states with a global spread Source: CHOGM official website 2013
Some vital statistics of the Commonwealth • accounts for • 30% of world population (2.2 b) • 25% of world land mass • 15% of world GDP • 60% of its people under 30 years
Chairmanship to Sri Lanka: Benefits and Opportunities • HE being installed the Chair has • evoked patriotic emotions and feelings among Sri Lankans • lifted the nation’s spirit and pride • turned international spotlight on Sri Lanka
It afforded a golden opportunity to • Strengthen Sri Lankan Economy thro’ intl. trade and foreign investment Australia got USD 6 billion Sri Lanka USD 2 billion target • Reinforce existing relations and build strategic/credible and genuine alliances with the member states • Contribute to the development of poor and vulnerable Member States • Enhance the international image and clout of Sri Lanka • Counter negative publicity and disinformation drives by western media and international bodies • This opportunity should be seized and made use of optimally for the benefit of Sri Lanka in particular and the Commonwealth in general This will undoubtedly be a game changer
CHOGM 2013 Forums • At CHOGM, three fora in conjunction with the main event • CYF: Inclusive Development: Stronger Together • CBF: Partnering for Wealth Creation and Social Development • CPF: Equitable Growth and Inclusive Development beyond 2015 • No forum for the academia to take part in the deliberations and contribute their might to advancing the goals and objectives of the CHOGM 2013
Intellectual and infrastructural resources in Universities • Sri Lanka has 19 universities, 07 Postgraduate Institutes and 10 Institutes • With about 5000 academics > 1750 PhDs> 1750 Masters > 800 Professors > 60% of R & D personnel in the country • and nearly 90,000 students who constitute the cream of the cream • and > 25,000 postgraduate students
Universities: Brain Trust of the Nation • Universities constitute the • Intellectual pulse • Wellspring of ideas, ideologies and concepts • Crucible of R & D • Fountainhead of new technology and innovation • The outstandingly rich and diverse intellectual capital, creative energies and youthful exuberance in the universities which hitherto remain almost untapped and untouched for national development.
If properly mobilized and chanelled, they undoubtedly be a catalyst and formidable strength and support • for the developmental initiatives at home and abroad delivering substantial benefits. • They are eager to work with HE hand in hand in furthering the goals and aspirations and making Sri Lanka a model to other Member States. • They looking forward to becoming a strategic partner in this decisive hour and contribute their might to the benefit and betterment of the nation.
Goals and Objectives of Conference: • To express our whole-hearted support to and solidarity with HE in discharging duties and functions as the Chair of the Commonwealth • To identify unique strengths, competitive edge and comparative advantages of Sri Lanka over the member states in order to contribute to and benefit from them in strategically/crucially important areas • Disaster Mgt. • Healthcare • Biodiversity • Ocean Sciences • Maritime Security • Tourism
To assist in formulating and implementing a high impact agenda and action plan for the Commonwealth under the Chairmanship of HE in line with CHOGM Declaration 2013 • To formulate an interim report including proposals and recommendations for consideration by HE and MoEA particularly in regard to • Education, Culture and Sport • Health • Business, Intl. Trade and Foreign Investment • Human Security and Social Well Being • Youth Empowerment • S & T and Innovation
Strategies • Establishment of think-tanks in strategic areas comprising academics among others, i.e. • Education • Healthcare • Food & Water Security • Climate Change and Disaster Management • S & T and Innovation • International Relations • Business • International Trade and Foreign Investment • International Media and Communication • Employment Creation • Tourism
i.e. Foreign Investment • in Tourism (Cultural, Health, Dive etc.) • Ports and Shipping/ Logistics • Maritime Recreation and Sea Sports • Naval Architecture (Building of ships, yachts, vessels, leisure craft etc.) • Pharmaceuticals
High profile underwater business dialogues, restaurants, weddings, meditation centres
2. Identification of member states for which Sri Lanka could offer technical expertise and assistance in some critically important areas in the near-term, focusing on “low hanging fruits”
Educational Indicators Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_literacy_rate
Health Indicators Source: CHOGM official website 2013 Source: World bank database Source: CHOGM official website 2013
Financial Indicators Source: CHOGM official website 2013 Sri Lanka could extend assistance in developing sound educational and healthcare delivery systems for countries with high infant and maternal mortality rates and low life expectancy and literacy rates, i.e. Sierra Leone and Lesotho
3. Forging strategic alliances with member countries in a mutually rewarding and reinforcing fashion in high impact areas • 18/ 53 with Coastal belt • 27/ 53 Island Nations Source: CHOGM official website 2013 Source: CHOGM official website 2013
i.e. • With South Africa in Social Justice and Reconciliation and Gem Industry • With Australia in Maritime Security, Coastal and Marine Resources Management • With Seychelles, Maldives, Bahamas etc. in Maritime Recreation and Sea Sports • With Tanzania in Wild Life Management • With Brunei and Nigeria in Petroleum Resources Development 4. Mobilization of Sri Lankan expats and international contacts/linkages to contain misinformation and disinformation campaigns by some western media > 1 m expats and > 250 academics are abroad
5. Establishment of Sri Lankan High Commissions in Member States to mutual benefit or for strategic reasons Source: CHOGM official website 2013 & http://www.mea.gov.lk/index.php/missions/sri-lanka-missions-abroad-
6. Conducting effective and vigorous awareness and enlightenment programmes to mobilize the support of the UN members (all 53 member of the Commonwealth are members of the UN) against misplaced allegations against Sri Lanka 7. Establishment of a regional Centre of Commonwealth of Learning (CoL) in Sri Lanka to expand the access to higher education through multiple mode delivery systems including virtual universities 8. Establishment of a Centre of Excellence in Ocean Sciences in Sri Lanka
This conference will actively deliberate and reflect on strategic interventions and high impact initiatives through plenary and brainstorming sessions • The recommendations emanating from the conference will be submitted to HE and MoEA for consideration in formulating the agenda and action plan to 2013 – 2015 • This will turn a new chapter and herald a new era in Sri Lanka !