Foreign Relations | Speeches

"We hope that a multi-polar world would become a reality"

G-15 Summit

Montego Bay, Jamaica

February 12, 1999

"Our sojourn on this delightful Island in the sun is drawing to a close. I am certain that I reflect the sentiments of all my colleagues when I state that we have felt very much at home in these seafront surroundings. We have to thank most sincerely our hosts for the painstaking work that they have engaged in over the past several months leading to this Summit that has made our conference so productive and our stay so comfortable.

We were able to discuss both at the formal sessions and at the Retreat, matters of great importance to us, particularly on the reform of the international financial architecture and on the role that the developing countries can and must play in the reform process with a view to influencing its outcome. The Joint Communique we have adopted provides a practical and consensual framework for G-15 to work on. This together with the lively and most productive exchanges we had during our Retreat represent a most constructive and focused set of ideas for further work.

When Sri Lanka assumes Chairmanship of the G-24 from April we will ensure that the views articulated at this Summit strike a resonant chord in the deliberations of that Group.

We hope that a multi-polar world would become a reality with the dawn of the new millennium. We in the G-15 who are in the vanguard of the developing world should interact closely with each other and co-ordinate our positives in international fora.

Sri Lanka will shortly join the G-15 Federation of Chamber of Commerce. Our private sector which is participating in a modest way at the Trade Fair this time will develop partnerships with their counterparts in the G-15 states to lay the foundations, in concert and specific terms, to build an edifice of practical and effective South-South Co- operation.

We, in Sri Lanka, like the other members of this dynamic grouping are anxious to set in place the framework for effective co-operation through frequent interaction both at Government and Non Government level. We are a group of countries with a rich heritage and a wealth of cultural traditions. As we saw during our stay in Jamaica, we need to make our people aware of this cultural diversity through the media, through music and through sports. These links will help bind the G-15 in a closer embrace.

The warm hospitality accorded to all of us by our most friendly hosts and friendship and courtesy extended to us by the people and the Government of Jamaica leaves us with no doubt that people to people contacts are also an integral part of the G-15 interaction. I would like to thank our hosts once again for demonstrating that vital dimension. We leave Jamaica with a desire to forge closer ties of friendship between all our member states."