In an effort to engage with South African universities, the High Commission of Sri Lanka welcomed a group of undergraduate students of Political Science and International Relations at the University of Pretoria accompanied by Professor Colonel Blake and the Team Mentor Shaina Moses on 26 September 2023. The prestigious University of Pretoria is over 100 years old.
As the visiting student group is taking part in a Model United Nations (MUN) Conference at the university, the discussion commenced with High Commissioner Prof. Gamini Gunawardane highlighting the main objective of UN Resolution (77/336 Model United Nations; 1st September 2023), namely “In engaging youth with multilateralism and international cooperation”, and Sri Lanka’s policy and emphasis on multilateralism and international cooperation.
In line with the group’s main topic of interest “Fostering Security in the Indo-Pacific: challenges and opportunities”, the High Commission officials made a comprehensive presentation on Sri Lanka’s diplomacy and leadership in establishing a Zone of Peace in the Indian Ocean in 1971, under the item entitled “Declaration of the Indian Ocean as a Zone of Peace” at the UN General Assembly and the continuing involvement of Sri Lanka in related issues in particular as the incoming Chair of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA).
The discussion was followed by a question and answer session that followed, where students raised questions on Sri Lanka’s position on various issues of international relations.
A presentation containing geographical and economic facts about Sri Lanka was also made by the High Commission followed by tourism and cultural promotional video clips. The delegation was served with traditional Sri Lankan delicacies including Kokis and Ceylon Tea.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Sri Lanka.