Lithuanian Statement at the 8th Alliance of Civilizations Global Forum and Group of Friends High Level Ministerial Meeting
National statement delivered by Ambassador Audra Plepytė, Permanent Representative of Lithuania to the UN, on behalf of the Republic of Lithuania at the 8th Alliance of Civilizations Global Forum and Group of Friends High Level Ministerial Meeting.
High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations,
Excellencies, Dear Friends of the Alliance,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Allow me to start by thanking the organizers of this important 8th Alliance of Civilizations Global Forum and Group of Friends meeting. Let me thank High Representative H.E. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser for his tireless efforts and dedicated work in guiding the Alliance as well as results achieved in promoting greater understanding and respect among diverse cultures and religions. I also congratulate H.E. Miguel Ángel Moratinos as the incoming High Representative and wish him all the success in this challenging yet utterly significant mission.
Lithuania associates herself with the views and remarks to be expressed by the EU representative latter today.
Mr. High Representative,
Lithuania is committed to the principles and goals of the UN Charter and the Alliance. We value the Alliance’s ability to create projects and build bridges in innovative ways, drawing on existing efforts and bringing together a wide spectrum of actors – amongst them governments, local authorities, and civil society. Promotion of understanding, tolerance and dialogue between different religious or ethnic communities is intrinsically linked with the enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, peace and security, and is an excellent mean of conflict prevention.
We know all too well that peaceful and sustainable coexistence between and within societies, countries and civilizations is not a self-evident fact. It requires collective efforts and dedication as well as national commitment to a sustainable future. It also requires us to understand peace better, because realizing what makes peace possible enables us to sustain it. In this regard, this year’s topic of the Forum on partnerships for prevention and sustaining peace is of particular relevance. At its core, Alliance of Civilizations and sustaining peace agenda share the same set of fundamental goals and aspirations – promotion and enablement of coexistence, tolerance and inclusion as drivers for a more peaceful and stable world. We strongly believe that strengthening and further advancing links between the Alliance of Civilizations and sustaining peace agenda would be beneficial for prevention and peacebuilding efforts on national, international and global levels.
Mr. High Representative,
The success of our collective efforts in promoting tolerance, coexistence and sustaining peace, including prevention, management and resolution of conflicts, depends greatly on the inclusion of marginalized groups, such as women and youth. Young people are powerful agents for resolving and preventing conflict throughout the world, therefore youth participation in politics is a necessity: it is a must for democracy, a must for effective and legitimate policy-making, and a must for peaceful societies. The risk of exclusion is high, and can lead to apathy, discontent, and in worst cases – violence. In this regard, we note with appreciation the work and programs of the Alliance, including Young Peacebuilders program, aimed at promoting a positive narrative on the role of youth in their communities and providing young people with positive alternatives to violent and destructive environments.
As Secretary-General A. Guterres noted in his message to the UN Alliance of Civilizations Group of Friends Ministerial Meeting earlier this September, discrimination against women remains pervasive. At the same time sustaining peace approach reaffirms the indispensable role of women in peacebuilding and recognizes the substantial link between women’s full and meaningful involvement in efforts to prevent and resolve conflict, and those efforts’ effectiveness and long-term sustainability. In this context, we are convinced that the Alliance has an important role to play in advancing inclusion of women and encouraging their active participation in nurturing a peaceful and productive cooperation among countries and peoples.
Mr. High Representative,
Finally, let me take this opportunity to reaffirm Lithuanian’s commitment to work with our partners in the Alliance of Civilizations towards the shared goals. The Alliance responds to the need to overcome prejudices, misconceptions, stereotypes, and polarization. We need to keep a constant dialogue, a polylogue with each other, and I welcome this opportunity provided by the Alliance. I hope that today’s fruitful discussions will inspire us to further work together in the spirit of coexistence and cooperation and will lead to a number of concrete action-oriented recommendations.
New York, 20 November 2018