Recognizing the significant progress and experiences of Sri Lanka in implementing 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), United Nations Department for Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) through its project office, the United Nations Project on Governance (UNPOG) requested the support of the government of Sri Lanka to host a study visit for a group of small islands developing states (SIDS).
Under the direction of Hon. Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka, the Minister and the guidance of Mr. A.G.P. Kithsiri, the Secretary, the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Wildlife and Regional Development organized in coordination with United Nations office in Sri Lanka, UNDESA and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR). The aim of this practitioner to practitioner forum was “Strengthening Capacities of Public Administration in Island States: Equipping Public Institutions, Strengthening Resilience and Building Effective Partnership for Implementing the 2030 Agenda from an Island States Perspective”.
This forum was held from 21-24 August 2018 at the Sri Lanka Institute of Development Administration (SLIDA), Colombo
Representing Hon. Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka, the Minister of Sustainable Development, Wildlife and Regional Development Hon. Sandith Samarasinghe, the Monitoring MP to the Ministry participated as the Chief Guest. Opening remarks were delivered by Hon. Sandith Samarasinghe, Ms. Wasantha Pereira, Director General of SLIDA, Mr. Terence Jones, UN Resident Coordinator, Mr.Chae Gun Chung, Head of UNPOG , and Mr. Animesh Kumar, Deputy Head, Regional Office for Asia -Pasific, UNISDR. Hon. Sandith Samarasinghe pointed out that the good governance has been strengthened in Sri Lanka with the introduction of legal instruments such as the Right to Information Act.
27 foreign delegates including 2 permanent secretaries attended from 14 Island States. 22 Sri Lanka government officers at decision making level also participated in the forum representing the Ministries, Departments and District Secretariat working especially the disaster risk reduction aspects of the SDG implementation.
This forum was designed for the government officials at the decision-making level implementing SDGs in participating countries with a particular focus on resilience and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) planning and implementation strategies.
As recommended by the National Cleaner Production Center of Sri Lanka, one study visit was arranged for the participants to learn through the best sustainable practices implemented by the CKT Apparel (Pvt) Ltd, at Agalawatta and another visit was arranged to the Disaster Management Center where the Secretary to the Ministry Eng. N.A. Sisira Kumara welcomed the participants.
The programme was a built-up platform for SIDS countries to gain knowledge on preparation of Voluntary National Reviews (VNR) for the High-Level Political Forum through the best practices in preparation of VNR 2018 report in Sri Lanka. The forum also provided an opportunity for the foreign participants to understand how Sri Lanka had aligned SDGs into its national development plans, policies and institutions, and mobilized its public administration to support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. Local participants also had an opportunity to learn about DRR strategies, technologies, and management of funds on DRR implemented by other island states to strengthen the public service delivery and aware on best practices to strengthen resilience through information and communication technology (ICT) innovations.
Four local resource persons delivered presentations under different topics: Dr.Sugath Yalegama , Additional Secretary (Sustainable Development), Ministry of Sustainable Development, Wildlife and Regional Development delivered three presentations one on Strategic Planning for a Sustainable and Resilient Society in Sri Lanka Perspective, another on the cases of Sri Lanka- Engaging civil society leaders in SDGs , and the other on Sri Lanka Voluntary National Review 2018 to aware the participants countries on the successful stakeholder engagement mechanisms implemented when preparing VNR 2018 in Sri Lanka : Ms.Shiranthi Rathnayake , Additional Director General of Department of National Planning on Resilience in Government Budgeting Sri Lanka’s Blue -Green Budget initiative; Mr. Ranga Pallewala, CEO, Janathakshan on Building Financial Resilience for Climate-Related Disasters; and Mr.J.A.D.Siriwardena, Assistant General Manager ,National Insurance Trust Fund, Sri Lanka on Disaster Risk Financing and Resilience.
Session 1 - Strategic Planning for an Effective, Accountable and Inclusive Transformation
Strategic Planning for a Sustainable and Resilient Society from an Island Perspective - National Cases
Regional Voices in Implementing Global Frameworks
Session 2 - Addressing Institutional Gaps for SDG and the Sendai Framework Implementation
Session 3 - Planning for Inclusive Governance Mechanisms that Drive Resilience
3.1 Engaging Civil Society Leaders in the SDGs
3.2 Empowering Women for Building Resilience
Session 4 - Monitoring, Review and Follow-up in the Context of the SDGs and the Sendai Framework Targets
Session 5 - Strategizing on Means of Implementation (MoI) for Resilience in SID
Session 6.1 - Transformation towards a Sustainable and Resilient Society - ICT Innovations for Disaster Risk Management
Session 6.2 - Transformation towards a Sustainable and Resilient Society – Implementing ICT Innovations in Practice
Session 7 and 8- Site Visits
Session 9 - Financing Resilience: Building Resilience for Climate-related Disasters
Session 10 - Financing Resilience through National Budgets and Mechanisms
Session 11 - Exploring Trends and Cases of Innovative Financing Mechanisms for Resilience