United Na­tions launches open plat­form to sup­port Sri Lanka’s pol­i­cy­mak­ing

Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka) - - NEWS -

The United Na­tions in Sri Lanka to­gether with the Na­tional Poli­cies and Eco­nomic Af­fairs Min­istry launched UN­LOCKED, an in­no­va­tive and in­clu­sive plat­form to sup­port pol­icy de­vel­op­ment.

UN­LOCKED pro­vides fu­ture change­mak­ers the opportunit­y to speak up, share re­search and reach out to ex­perts. The plat­form aims to en­rich Sri Lanka’s pol­i­cy­mak­ing process by nur­tur­ing new ideas and so­lu­tions.

UN­LOCKED will fea­ture the­matic dis­cus­sions, ini­ti­ated by sub­ject ex­perts, sug­gest­ing so­lu­tions for the ex­ist­ing chal­lenges. There­after, any­one with an in­ter­est in the topic can pro­vide feed­back on the is­sue be­ing dis­cussed.

The plat­form will ad­dress a va­ri­ety of de­vel­op­men­tal is­sues, in­clud­ing ex­treme poverty, cli­mate change and in­equal­ity. The dis­cus­sion is ex­panded through off­line events such as work­shops, panel dis­cus­sions and town hall events.

UN­LOCKED puts the power in the hands of the pub­lic, to help ev­ery­day peo­ple come up with the so­lu­tions that will make a dif­fer­ence in their lives. Once a dis­cus­sion has run its course, the key contributi­ons will feed into pol­icy briefs that in­no­va­tively ad­dress de­vel­op­men­tal chal­lenges. These will be pre­sented to the gov­ern­ment, thereby en­sur­ing that peo­ple have a say in the poli­cies that im­pact them.

En­dors­ing the ini­tia­tive, Na­tional Poli­cies, Eco­nomic Af­fairs, Re­set­tle­ment and Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion, North­ern Province De­vel­op­ment and Youth Af­fairs Min­istry Sec­re­tary V. Si­vagnana­sothy held that “UN­LOCKED could play a vi­tal role in bridg­ing the gap be­tween the pub­lic and pol­i­cy­mak­ers by serv­ing as a ci­ti­zen-cen­tric fo­rum for pol­i­cy­mak­ing”. Launch­ing the plat­form, United Na­tions Res­i­dent Co­or­di­na­tor in Sri Lanka Hanaa Singer stated, “Pol­i­cy­mak­ing for sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment needs to be an or­ganic process that brings to­gether the gov­ern­ment and peo­ple. UN­LOCKED pro­vides the plat­form for bring­ing these two groups to­gether, to develop poli­cies that can aid Sri Lanka’s ef­forts in achiev­ing the 2030 Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment Agenda.”

As the first theme of UN­LOCKED ad­dresses ‘Cli­mate Change and Ur­ban Re­silience’, the launch was held ahead of the World En­vi­ron­ment Day, cel­e­brated an­nu­ally on June 5. It was fol­lowed by a panel dis­cus­sion led by speak­ers from UN HABI­TAT, the In­sti­tute of Pol­icy Stud­ies and Ver­ité Re­search.

The top­ics pre­sented, which ranged from main­stream­ing cli­mate re­silience into ur­ban pol­icy to addressing im­ple­men­ta­tion gaps in dis­as­ter man­age­ment in Sri Lanka, spurred an en­gag­ing dis­cus­sion with ac­tive par­tic­i­pa­tion from the au­di­ence.

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