High Commissioner Prasad Kariyawasam, representing the current Sri Lankan presidency of the Asian-African Legal Consultative Organisation (AALCO), addressed the commemorative event held in New Delhi on 11 November, to mark the 55th Constitution Day of AALCO. Representatives of the 47 Member States of the Organisation which is headquartered in New Delhi as well as the Secretary General of AALCO, Dr. Rahmat Mohamad, officials of the AALCO Secretariat and the Ministry of External Affairs of India participated in the event.
In his address, High Commissioner Kariyawasam traced briefly, the role played by Sri Lanka, then Ceylon, in paving the way for the Bandung Conference in 1955 which led to the establishment of AALCO which serves as an effective forum for Asian-African cooperation in some of the important issues in the field of international law including those before the United Nations. The High Commissioner stressed that AALCO serves as a uniting force between the countries of the Asian and African regions and an invaluable forum to work on important issues of concern in the field of international law.
Quoting from President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s statement as Prime Minister at the April 2005 Asian-African Summit and Commemoration of the 1955 Asian-African Conference in Jakarta, where he stressed the important of seeking the best ways to address new and emerging threats to international peace and security, the High Commissioner stated that AALCO has an important role to play by aiding the Asian and African nations to evolve legal frameworks to address and define the threats to nations arising out of ill-motivated actions by some non-state actors.
At the Secretary General’s invitation, High Commissioner Kariyawasam officially released the Report of the Meeting of Legal Experts held in Malaysia in July 2011, on ‘the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court: Issues and Challenges’, at the event.
The Secretary General briefed the Heads of Mission of Member Countries that were present at the event on the Outcome of the 50th Annual Session of the Organisation that was held in Colombo and on the Plan of Action for 2011-2012. An interactive roundtable discussion was held as well as a part of the commemorative event, to deliberate on the future path of AALCO.
The full text of the High Commissioner’s statement: