“Sustainable Development Goals Children’s Parliament of Sri Lanka (SDGCPSL) is an unique initiative originated in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka –UN Friendship Organisation(SUNFO) had been privileged enough to facilitate the process of its establishment 0f SDGCPSL. It works towards achieving 2030 agenda, agreed upon by 193 members states of the United Nations, and includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) on25 Sep. 2015 now extended up to 196 Nations.
SDGCPSL affords Sri Lankan Children the opportunity to contribute to the country’s sustainability. Through raising awareness and implementation of 17 SDG’s amongst the public.
The enthusiastic 75 members of SDGCPSL were selected through highly competitive interviews representing all 9 provinces based on the outstanding achievements shone both local and on international stages which enables and empowers the visionary minded children to contribute to the national development process and the reality of Sri Lanka’s current cross sectional population with regard to actual quality of life and other parameters, discussing further on the journey as children are “Backbone of nation”must undertake in progressively solving the problems associated therewith.
Children have potential. If we empower children begin in small scale, start with our surroundings slowly but gradually aim to fulfill every goal in our capacities, the potential will translate into action and ultimately result. This has been the core objective of initiating the SDGCPSL. There is no point waiting for a generation to accomplish its herculean tasks towards a time they won’t even survive. It is our time now. Strive in your capacities towards a better Sri Lanka.
Out of the three days inaugural process of SDGCPSL , first day training session was held on 29th of February 2020 at St. Luke’s community auditorium,Mardana Rd, Col-08. The forum included a fruitful and fulfilling session took placewith the valuable inputs and enlightening ideas from the secretariats. While a briefing on action plan, follow-up and ice breaker session was conducted by Ms. Linda Rose (Specialist in Community Education, Youth &Community Development UK).
On the following day,01st of March at the inaugural ceremony members of SDGCPSL pledged the oath in the presence of various international delegates, Beauty Queen of Thailand, Dignitaries, high officials and distinguished guestsat BMICH. Thereafter SDGCPSL Speaker, Prime Minister ,Alternative Leader and 17 ministers representing each SDG were inducted. A well-balanced resource panel and key-officials graced and led the inaugural ceremony. Dr.Deshapriya S. Wijethunga (Director General- SUNFO) addressed the welcome speech to the members of SDGCPSL.
He emphasized the gradual process and vast development of SUNFO involvements upto 2015 MDG’s. And therewith during 2013/14 and 2014/15 SUNFO hosted provincial, national and specific stakeholders. (Youth, civil society, professionals, etc.)
When the SDG agenda was signed by 193 countries at UN headquarters, New York on 25th of September, SDG Citizen’s forum of Sri Lanka was notably initiated. Also, SUNFO had established “SDG Women’s platform of Sri Lanka” on 31st March 2016 and on 12th of August 2017 had established “SDG Youth Network of Sri Lanka”. More importantly, SUNFO declared “SDG Children’s Parliament of Sri Lanka “ on30th December 2018. Thereby selection process of SDGCPSL begun on 30th March 2019 and continued for a period of 10 months.
The remarkable statement was made by the International Guest of Honour “In order to build capacity building and towards achieving 2030 agenda to make Sri Lanka a sustainable nation, children should learn about SDG’s, strive hard and be well-equipped to take over the responsibilities of country in the upcoming 10 years.” Stated Prof. Moon Yong Jo.
In addition to that, Dr. SugathYalagame (Director General ofSustainable Development Council) addressed the SDGCPSL as the special guest speaker. He highlighted the fact “Government is fully committed to achieve SDG’s and also Sustainable Development Council in a paramount monitoring and facilitating the progress.” He welcomed SDGCPSL as a valuable initiative and asset to the children to involve in SDG process.
Moreover,Retired High Courts JudgeMs. SujathaAlahapperuma (Deputy Chairperson National Child Protection Authority) too, graced the inaugural ceremony of SDGCPSL as the special guest speaker.
In this regard, Hon. ThilangaSumathipala (State Minister of Technology and Innovations) graced the occasion as the Chief Guest. In his speech, He said “First ever world’s SDG Parliamentary Committee was formed in the Parliament of DemocraticSocialist Republic of Sri Lanka.”Then,During that time as the deputy speaker of the house, he had been entrusted to hold the responsibilities as the “Chairman of SDG Parliamentary Committee”.
It is noteworthy, That Master HarithaChamal (Speaker of SDGCPSL) expressed his ideas and views regarding SDG’s prospect as SDGCPSL should mainly focus “No one can be marginalized on threatened or harmed due to their in capabilities and must deliberately extend the patronage to the under-privileged. Also, we must be the voice to the voiceless.” In aligned to speaker’s statement Master RashmikaMiyuru Lanka (Prime Minister of SDGCPSL) stated: “We have to commit, focus and act to thrive SDG’s in order to build a better and safer Sri Lanka.”
Apart from that, Alternative leaderMaster MalinduPradinath emphasized “SDGCPSL must utilize this platform in envisions tomould innovative, creative, visionary and dynamic personalities who would influence and relentlessly strive for the betterment of country.”
SDGCPSL made a visit to mainstream parliament complex of Sri Lanka at Sri Jayawardenapuraon the 2nd March 2020. The purposeof this exposure tour was to empower them with a broader knowledge spectrum in their pursuit of becoming efficient leaders.
The meetingat the Parliamentary Complex was presided by Hon. KaruJayasuriya (Speaker of theParliament) and he addressed the enthusiastic SDGCPSL conveying his best wishes and congratulations “SDGCPSL will be able to produce capable, productive, honest and dedicated leaders for the future of country while striving for SDG’s.”
Furthermore, dialogue session was conducted between SDGCPSLmembers and senior staffs of the parliament. Thereby guided tour to the parliament complex was noteworthy.
Following that, SDGCPSL teamvisited CINEC campus,Malabeand had gained revitalizing experience from well-renowned resource personnel.Types of fire extinguishers and demonstrations also ship simulator experience were carried out by professionals.
In this context, Board advisor of CINEC Campus-Admiral ThisaraSamarasinghe (Former Commander of Sri Lanka Navy and former His Excellency High commissioner of Sri Lanka to Australia and New Zealand) emphasized the “Proficiency of English language and How CINEC Campus had produced Quality Education and competent graduates while contributing to SDG agenda and How tool of communications and soft skills plays a crucial part in one’s life.