Karunaratne Hangawatte (Criminal Justice), Sri Lanka's ambassador to France and permanent delegate to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), unanimously was elected vice president of the 37th session of the General Conference of UNESCO in Paris in November. Leading the delegation of Sri Lanka to the biennial session of the General Conference, he highlighted the socio-economic achievements of the nation while providing a detailed overview of the advancements that have occurred in Sri Lanka. Delivering his country's national statement at a general policy debate, he spoke about the many initiatives adopted by Sri Lanka to promote religious understanding and intercultural dialogue through social cohesion and a culture of peace and non-violence. Additionally, he unanimously was elected to chair the 19th session of the General Assembly of States Parties to the World Heritage Convention at the opening of the sessions in November. This is the first time Sri Lanka has been elected to chair the General Assembly of the World Heritage Convention, having accepted the convention and becoming a states party in 1980.