The Policy Planning, Research and Human Resources Development Division of the Foreign Ministry, under the guidance of the Foreign Secretary successfully conducted a two-week long Orientation Programme for the newly appointed Ambassadors/High Commissioners-designate.
The Programme was inaugurated on 05 October 2020 at the Foreign Ministry in the presence of State Minister of Regional Cooperation Tharaka Balasuriya and Foreign Secretary Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage. The Ambassadors/High Commissioners-designate to Afghanistan, China, France, India, Japan, Kenya, USA and Permanent Representative-designate to United Nations-New York attended the inaugural session.
The Orientation Programme, which was mainly conducted on a virtual platform due to the pandemic situation, aimed to provide an outline of the Foreign Policy of the Government of Sri Lanka as per the vision of the President and the National Policy Framework (NPF) of the Government, ’Vistas of Prosperity and Splendor’. In keeping with the Government policy to lead a stronger economic drive, the programme had a greater focus on Economic Diplomacy while enhancing the knowledge and understanding on current status of Sri Lanka’s bilateral, multilateral engagements, Defence and Security Cooperation, Public Diplomacy, Overseas Sri Lankans, Protocol & Consular Affairs, COVID-19 related activities.
Further, the programme included briefings by key stakeholders related to Mission functions such as the Department of Immigration and Emigration, Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE), Sri Lanka Tea Board (SLTB), Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB), Board of Investment (BOI), Export Development Board (EDB), and Department of Commerce (DoC).
With a view to sensitizing the Heads of Mission-designate on the developments in Sri Lanka which have a stronger impact on its foreign policy, the programme included briefings and panel discussions on National Security and Foreign Policy, Sri Lanka’s strategic importance in the Indian Ocean and on the economic challenges & developments in Sri Lanka which were attended by the Secretary of the Ministry of Defence and the Secretary of the Ministry of Finance amongst several other eminent specialists in their respective areas.
These Heads of Missions-designate are expected to assume duties in their respective Capitals soon.