Senior Sri Lankan career diplomat Esala Weerakoon has been appointed as the new Secretary-General of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced today Oct 6.
A Press release issued by the Ministry said the Informal Meeting of the Council of Ministers of SAARC held in New York “approved the nomination of former Foreign Secretary and senior career diplomat Mr. Esala Weerakoon, to be the 14th Secretary General of SAARC, with effect from 01 March 2020.
Weerakoon, presently serves as the Senior Additional Secretary to the President.
The meeting was Chaired by the Foreign Minister of Nepal Pradeep Kumar Gyawali and attended by the Foreign Minister of Afghanistan Salahuddin Rabbani, Foreign Minister of Bhutan Dr. Tandi Dorji, External Affairs Minister of India Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Foreign Minister of Maldives Abdulla Shahid, Foreign Minister of Pakistan Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Bangladesh State Minister of Foreign Affairs Md. Shahriar Alam, and Sri Lanka’s Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ravinatha Aryasinha.
Addressing the meeting Aryasinha welcomed the approval of the next SAARC Secretary General and said Sri Lanka looks forward to contributing toward the further strengthening of SAARC in a positive spirit of engagement.
The SAARC Ministers of Foreign Affairs reviewed the progress made in the past year and emphasised the importance of regional cooperation for enhanced trade, investment, connectivity, tourism, culture, security, peace and stability.