Stories written by Dr. Palitha Kohona

Youth Skills: Have We Addressed the Need?

The World Youth Skills Day is being celebrated around the world on 15 July. This day was established on 18 December 2014 by General Assembly resolution A/RES/69/145 which was initiated by Sri Lanka. Following a lengthy consultation process, at the UN and outside, during which some delegations, including some Europeans expressed reservations, the resolution was eventually adopted unanimously. It received solid support from youth delegations from around the world.

Analysis: Paris Climate Accord Lacks Legal Commitment

Over 195 countries gathered in Paris and agreed on a set of broad measures to address the looming threat to human existence of global warming and climate change. A beaming UN Secretary-General, for whom climate change has been "one of the defining priorities of his tenure", described the Paris Accord as heralding a generation with climate hope and a "monumental triumph for people and the planet".

Opinion: Will We Find the Resources to Create a Better World?

The UN General Assembly adopted the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at a global summit of world leaders in September. They agreed on 17 new universal goals, and 169 targets that will provide the framework for economic and political policies of UN Member States over the next 15 years to make the world a better place for humanity.

Opinion: Multilateral Treaty Framework – An Abiding Achievement of the U.N.

As it celebrates its 70th birthday, a proud achievement of the United Nations over its lifetime, is the framework of multilateral treaties that it has been instrumental in putting in place.

Opinion: Another U.N. General Assembly Talk Fest Begins

UNGA 70 formally commenced on Sep. 15. In accordance with custom, it elected a new President, Denmark's Mogens Lykketoft, who has picked as the theme for his tenure as the President, "The UN at 70 - A New Commitment to Action".

Opinion: The Oceans Need the Spotlight Now

The international community must focus its energies immediately on addressing the grave challenges confronting the oceans. With implications for global order and peace, the oceans are also becoming another arena for national rivalry.

The U.N. at 70: A Glass Half Full

As the U.N. enters its 70th year, it is legitimate to ask whether it has been a success so far. Over the years, the media, in particular the Western media, has tended to highlight the U.N.'s failures.

Opinion: South-South Cooperation Vital for Sustainable Development

Sustainable development is central to a range of key discussions at the United Nations and elsewhere at the moment.

Opinion: Appointing a New U.N. Secretary-General

With Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's term of office tapering off by the end of 2016, there is increasing chatter in the corridors of the United Nations on his successor.

Marine Resources in High Seas Should be Shared Equitably

After almost 10 years of often frustrating negotiations, the U.N. ad hoc committee on BBNJ decided, by consensus, to set in motion a process that will result in work commencing on a legally binding international instrument on the conservation and sustainable use, including benefit sharing, of Biological Diversity Beyond Areas of National Jurisdiction.

OPINION: From Elephants to Blue Whales, Sri Lanka Leads the Way on Biodiversity

Sri Lanka will host the World Biodiversity Congress (WBC) Nov. 24-27. Given its long and active history of preserving biodiversity, it would be most appropriate for Sri Lanka to be the next host of this global event, which also marks the U.N.'s Decade on Biodiversity.

World Conference Calls For ‘Youth Office’ at U.N.

As the United Nations reinforces the important role of youth in its proposed post-2015 development agenda, the World Conference on Youth (WCY) held in Sri Lanka last month adopted a historic declaration, including a proposal for the creation of a separate Youth Department/Office in the world body.

UN Working Group on Biodiversity Makes Cautious Progress

The UN Ad Hoc Open ended Informal Working Group on ‘biological diversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction’ (WG), which was initially convened in 2006, had its first meeting this year in New York from April 1 - 4.