Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Iran G.M.V. Wishwanath Aponsu visited the Permanent Secretariat of the Asian Mayors Forum (AMF) based in Tehran and had a comprehensive discussion with the AMF Secretary General Hamid Reza Gholamzadeh. Welcoming the visiting dignitary, the AMF Secretary General briefed about the mandate and governing structure of the forum, staff of the Secretariat, partnership with the Colombo Municipal Council, AMF’s activities and upcoming key events including the 07th General Assembly and expressed his readiness to strengthen institutional relations with all AMF member cities and partners.

During the discussion, Ambassador Wishwanath Aponsu appreciated the AMF’s significant role to develop effective communication and cooperation between Asian cities and urban officials since 2008 and assured Sri Lanka’s active participation in AMF’s future dialogues and partnership events. Highlighting the crucial role of the Colombo Municipal Council in enhancing the quality of life, realizing sustainable economic growth and protecting environment, he underlined the common challenges including rapid urbanization, urban inequality and poverty, lack of housing and shelter issue, health and safety, lack of financial resources and energy consumption, disasters and pollution.

In this scenario, the Sri Lankan envoy emphasized the need for AMF’s further cooperation in sharing their knowledge and best practices on urban management with Sri Lanka, enhancing the capacity of officials and strengthening the cooperation between the Colombo and other cities in the Asia Region. While highlighting several projects in waste management, agriculture and tourism sectors, initiated by the Colombo Municipal Council, the Ambassador conveyed the Colombo Municipal Council’s willingness to share their best practices with the AMF member cities and requested the AMF Secretariat to organize capacity building workshops for officials of its members.            

The Secretary General considered the Ambassador’s requests in a positive manner and requested to share the details of the focal point of the Colombo Municipal Council with the AMF Secretariat. Further, he stated that other cities of Sri Lanka have the opportunity to connect with the AMF member cities and municipalities for enhancing cooperation with innovative ideas among cities in Asia.

Secretary General Gholamzadeh arranged a site visit for Ambassador Aponsu in the AMF Secretariat’s Complex and expressed his appreciation for the productive meeting. Director (Urban Diplomacy and Members Affairs) of the AMF Secretariat Roya Leilielyon also participated in the meeting.