International Lawyer and Educationist
Neshan Gunasekera is an international lawyer, educationist, leadership coach, facilitator and environmentalist from Sri Lanka. He is committed to bring communities together for environmental protection, healing and conservation through the use of intergenerational, holistic and experiential learning.
He has supported and advised several international organizations including the United Nations Agencies and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, IUCN. Currently, Neshan is a Director of the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms (IALANA), Member, Steering Committee, of the Ecological Law and Governance Association, (ELGA), Co-Chair, Earth Trusteeship Working Group and a Lead Counsel, Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions at the Centre for International Sustainable Development Law. In February 2022, he was invited to contribute to the Global Round Table Discussion on Climate Governance which was convened by the UN University for Policy Research and the Executive Office of the UN Secretary General to feed into the Report compiled by the UN High Level Advisory Panel on Global Public Goods. Recommendations of these discussions will be included in the Report to the UN Secretary General for consideration ahead of convening the UN Summit of the Future 2023.
Neshan has supported the work of the World Future Council from its inception, including as Policy Advisor to the pioneering work of the Future Justice Commission and supported projects covering a wide array of areas including on the Nuclear-Climate nexus, Crimes Against Future Generations and International Tribunals, Rights of Future Generations to name a few.
In 2020, Neshan was bestowed with The H.E. Judge C.G. Weeramantry International Justice Award for his work for the cause of justice and inclusion of all peoples during and after conflicts, notably in Sri Lanka and the South Asia region through various global, regional and national institutions and his continuing contributions in the areas of peace, conflict transformation and sustainable development. This also recognized his work as the former Director, (2007-2012), Weeramantry International Centre, set up by Late H.E. Judge C.G. Weeramantry, Former Vice-President, International Court of Justice and a Founding Honourary Councilor of the World Future Council. Currently, he is engaged in leading a Transitional and Restorative Justice Programme in supporting communities to transform cycles of violence and achieve a sustained peace following the protracted armed conflict in Sri Lanka.
Neshan is a trained lawyer and educationist with specialized skills in Peacebuilding, Conflict Transformation, International Law – including International Humanitarian Law, Human Rights Law, International Relations, Multilateralism, Public Diplomacy, Preventive Diplomacy, Advocacy, Environmental Conservation, and Leadership. He has contributed to several peacebuilding, conflict transformation, environmental conservation and educational projects in various parts of the world and advised several institutions on transitional and restorative justice programmes.
Further, he is a passionate sportsman and involves himself in sports administration and the promoting the spirit of sports. He supports various individuals to take up sports and continue in sports, including persons with disability and uses sports as a tool for integration and leadership. Neshan is married to Bridgette Kennedy and they have a son, Aryesh.