Ambassador Saroja Sirisena presented Letters of Credence to Mr. Yury Fedotov, Director General of the United Nations Office in Vienna (UNOV) and Executive Director of the UNODC on behalf of Mr. Antonio Guterres, the Secretary-General of the United Nations on 19 September 2019, at the Director General’s office of the UNOV in the Vienna International Centre (VIC), accrediting her as the Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UNOV.
After a warm exchange of greetings, the Director General commended Sri Lanka’s active involvement in the organization’s work and emphasised the significance of the potential role of Sri Lanka as a hub in the Indian Ocean region to effectively coordinate with the Member States in the spheres of prevention of drug and human smuggling, maritime crimes and piracy through the UNODC regional secretariat. The Permanent Representative recalled the assistance rendered by the UNODC under various initiatives, especially prioritising Sri Lanka in its Global Maritime Crime Programme. Ambassador Sirisena further highlighted the importance of capacity building, technical cooperation, sharing information and best practices within the UNODC and among its Member States and highlighted the need of collective efforts in the fight against transnational organized crimes in order to promote socio-economic growth.
The Director General paid special attention to Smuggling of Migrants (SoM) and Trafficking in Persons (TiP) and underscored the importance of active participation of Sri Lanka as a coordinating country in the Indian Ocean Region, to combat such heinous crimes. Ambassador Sirisena underlined the substantive work of the National Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force (NAHTTF), the national focal point to counter and combat SoM and TiP and reaffirmed Sri Lanka’s commitment to the Organization.
Saroja Sirisena joined Sri Lanka Foreign Service in 1998 and served as Director General Economic Affairs, Director General Public Diplomacy and the Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs immediately prior to her appointment in Vienna.
In her Diplomatic Career, She served as the Consul General of Sri Lanka in Mumbai from 2014-2018 and held positions at Sri Lanka Missions in Geneva, Brussels and Paris. Ambassador Saroja Sirisena is a graduate of the University of Melbourne, Australia and has completed post graduate studies at the École Nationale d’Administration in France. She is a past pupil of Devi Balika Vidyalaya, Colombo.
The ceremony was attended by Mr. Mahesh Mahakumarage, Second Secretary, Ms. Asanka Weerasingha, Attaché of the Sri Lanka Mission, Mr. Tullio Santini, Chief, Regional Office for South Asia and East Asia and Ms. Viktoria Zharkova, UNODC Secretariat.
Embassy and Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka