‘Equity must accompany economic growth’
The South Asian experience indicates that economic development alone
does not ensure empowerment of the vast mass of society and that, to
achieve this objective, interventions by the State are essential,
External Affairs Minister Prof G. L. Peiris said in Dhaka on Sunday.
External Affairs Minister Prof G. L. Peiris at the head
He was delivering a keynote address during the inaugural sessions of
the international conference on “People’s Empowerment and Development”
convened in Dhaka by People’s Republic of Bangladesh Prime Minister
This initiative is a sequel to the Resolution introduced by the
Bangladeshi government and adopted by the United Nations General
Assembly at its plenary meeting in December last year.
The conference was attended by representatives of 40 countries. The
inaugural sessions was addressed by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and
Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Dr. Dipu Moni.
Prof. Peiris was invited to join them as a lead speaker. In order to
illustrate the themes of the conference, Minister Peiris presented an
analysis of the innovative programmes being implemented in Sri Lanka to
ensure that the benefits of economic growth reach the most vulnerable
segments of society, providing access to livelihoods and incomes. He
explained, from this standpoint, the nutrition and savings aspects of
the divi neguma programme.
A special focus on the development of infrastructure, to encourage
the spread of investment to remoter regions, social safety nets in the
form of affirmative action in a variety of fields, practical approaches
to poverty alleviation, with special emphasis on access to micro credit,
and weightage to underprivileged areas in formulating policies for
admission to Universities and recruitment to the public sector, were
some of the issues which Prof. Peiris sought to highlight in his