President Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday told the United Nations General Assembly that currently there is a stark contrast with the 2030 promise, as poverty and hunger levels are at multi-decade highs.

“Neutral nations like Sri Lanka in the global south find themselves caught between shifting global power dynamics, the president added.

Addressing the UN General Assembly in New York yesterday evening, President Wickremesinghe pledged to lead Sri Lanka towards sustainable growth, ensuring peace and prosperity for all, with the support of all, including the international community.

He said Sri Lanka is grappling with an unprecedented economic crisis. “To put it in perspective, the cost of World War II in today’s USD would be $4 trillion and the Marshall Plan $150 billion, he said.

The President also noted that restructuring the global fiscal system is crucial, as failure in this endeavour could jeopardise efforts to combat climate change and attain the DGs.

Wickremesinghe said that crises like climate change and pandemics are hampering smaller, indebted countries like Sri Lanka from advancing Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and climate efforts.

Global power conflicts are adding economic uncertainty, disrupting supply chains, and causing inflation, food, and energy insecurity worldwide, he said.