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Dutch Government helps Sri Lanka fight chronic kidney disease

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The Dutch Government has come forward to help Sri Lanka fight Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Sri Lanka said today.The Embassy said that following a request made by President Maithripala Sirisena in July 2015 for assistance from the diplomatic community on the CKD issue in Sri Lanka, the Dutch Government responded positively by offering the services of the Dutch Risk Reduction (DRR) Team. “As a country renowned for its expertise on water and delta management, the Netherlands feels a responsibility to share its knowledge worldwide. That is why the Dutch government has initiated the Dutch Risk Reduction Team (DRR). This team of experts advises Governments on how to resolve urgent water issues related to flood risks, water pollution and water supply, to prevent disasters or to rebuild after water related disasters,” the Embassy added. The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands has been working for the last few weeks with the Presidential task force on kidney disease prevention and other relevant Government of Sri Lanka entities to prepare and execute the DRR mission in Sri Lanka. The DRR mission consisted of four water experts (3 from the Netherlands and 1 from Sri Lanka). During the mission, the team participated in a stakeholder meeting at the Presidential Secretariat, collected water samples during their field visits to the Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa districts and conducted a debriefing meeting for the stakeholders at the Ministry of City Planning and Water Supply.The DRR mission’s report with their findings and conclusions is expected to be published next month.  (Colombo Gazette) read more

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More than 70 government ministers expected for upcoming UN forum on refugees

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Opening on 12 December at the UN agency’s Geneva headquarters, the two-day Ministerial Meeting will be the first ever gathering of all 142 countries that have acceded to the 1951 Refugee Convention.Among the 70 government ministers who have confirmed their presence so far are 29 Ministers of the Interior and 17 Foreign Ministers, UNHCR said. Other attendees include three Deputy Prime Ministers and the President of Latvia, Vaira Vike-Freiberga, who will deliver one of the opening addresses in her personal capacity as a former refugee, rather than as head of delegation.The meeting has so far attracted 11 ministers from the European Union and 27 from Africa, UNCHR said. The African delegates will also participate in a 14 December follow-up meeting in Geneva devoted to refugee problems on their continent.Also attending the meeting will be a number of the States that have not yet acceded to either the 1951 Refugee Convention or its 1967 Protocol. read more

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