(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – The First Session of the Joint Committee for Consular Affairs (JCCA) between Sri Lanka and the United Arab Emirates was held in Colombo at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on 22 February 2023 with the participation of official delegations, representing Sri Lanka and the UAE. The meeting was conducted, as per the provisions of the Memorandum of Understating (MOU) signed between Sri Lanka and the UAE in November 2017.
The meeting was co-chaired by Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in charge of Consular Affairs and Political Affairs for Middle East & Africa U L Mohammed Jauhar, and Assistant Undersecretary for Consular Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the UAE Faisal Eissa Lutfi Ali. The respective delegations comprised officials representing the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and other vital line ministries and agencies.
The meeting focused on a wide range of mutually important consular related areas, including human smuggling & human trafficking, illegal migration, deportation and repatriation of nationals in custody of both countries and expediting compensation payment to eligible persons. Both delegations agreed to enhance cooperation in combating human trafficking, including by sharing information.
The UAE delegation also made a comprehensive presentation on the existing labour laws and regulations, with an emphasis on the rights of employees, the procedure to be followed in notifying authorities when labour contracts are violated, and providing relief to affected persons. It was also decided to include the updated UAE labour regulations in the SLBFE training modules, with a view to educating prospective migrant workers, in the UAE.
The heads of delegation emphasized the importance of continuing the interactions on mutually agreed matters at the JCCA sessions as per the provisions of the MoU and assured the implementation of the decisions arrived at the JCCA.
Assistant Undersecretary Lutfi Ali also paid a courtesy call on the Acting. Foreign Secretary, Yasoja Gunasekara. During the meeting, the UAE delegation expressed their utmost satisfaction about the successful completion of the First Session and also discussed in detail a variety of consular matters and practices, and other relevant topics. The UAE delegation visited the Foreign Ministry’s Consular Affairs Division in order to witness its attestation process and was briefed on the activities of the division, including the electronic document attestation system.