The growth of bilateral trade between the two countries despite the economic recession in Europe and the steady increase in direct foreign investment from Austria augur well for the future of relations between Sri Lanka and Austria, Professor G. L. Peiris, Minister of External Affairs, said at his meeting on Tuesday with Dr. Michael Spindelegger, Vice Chancellor (Deputy Prime Minster) and Minister of European and International Affairs of Austria, at the Foreign Ministry in Vienna.
Delivering the Opening Statement at the Plenary Discussion Forum at the United Nations in Vienna on 4th April 2014, Minister Dullas Alahapperuma highlighted the importance of skills development and building of entrepreneurial capacities of youth in order to effectively contribute to inclusive and sustainable development. Participation of youth and integration of their needs and priorities into programmes and policies at all levels were critical to achieving eradication of poverty, decent employment for youth, and economic advancement, the Minister stressed.
Sri Lanka led the commemoration of the Group of 77 in Vienna as the Group marked the 50th Anniversary of its establishment, with celebrations at the Vienna International Centre from 23-27 June 2014.
The week long celebrations included several cultural performances from Member States of the G-77, a food festival and a charity event. To mark this anniversary, the G-77 in Vienna also launched the first issue of its newsletter. A tombola took place, with an air ticket to Sri Lanka on offer as the first prize, arranged by the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka.
Ambassador A.L. Abdul Azeez, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka in Vienna, Austria, was elected by acclamation as President of the 58th General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) today. He took over the office of President from South Africa's XolisaMabhongo who held the post last year.
Accepting the honour conferred on Sri Lanka by IAEA General Conference which consists of 162 Member States, Ambassador Azeez emphasized the continued relevance of IAEA in the area of international peace and security as the world was faced with a myriad of challenges today. Peaceful use of nuclear energy and technology through technical cooperation and verification of nuclear safeguards makes an important contribution to the economic advancement of many countries, he added.
Hon. Neomal Perera, Deputy Minister of External Affairs, visited Austria from 3-5 November 2014. Participating in expression of solidarity with the Landlocked Developing Countries in South Asia and other regions, at the 2nd UN Conference on Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDC) held in Vienna, Deputy Minister stressed that as a country committed to the principle of non-alignment, "Sri Lanka pursues an approach, which emphasizes enmity towards none and friendship towards all." He added that it was in the category of special friends that most landlocked developing countries belonged in.