On 12 June at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, the Lithuanian representative, Professor Jonas Ruškus was re-elected to serve a second term on the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Having won the second largest number of electoral votes, Lithuania's candidate was elected in the first round.
On 5 June, Professor Dainius Pūras, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health was elected as Chairperson of the Coordination Committee of Special Procedures of the United Nations Human Rights Council. He will coordinate the work of about 80 independent UN experts, who implement the organization's mandates in the field of human rights.
On 23 May, the Permanent Representative of Lithuania to the United Nations, Ambassador Audra Plepytė presented her letters of credence to the Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Irwin LaRocque in Georgetown, capital city of Guyana.
During the visit to New York on 17-18 May 2018, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius met with the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs of the United Nations Rosemary A. Di Carlo and the Head of UN Peacekeeping Jean-Pierre Lacroix. In the meetings, The Foreign Minister presented Lithuania's priorities at the United Nations and discussed the country‘s further engagement in UN peacekeeping missions.
In the meeting with Di Carlo, Linkevičius discussed the need to continue to keep the issue of Ukraine's conflict not only on the UN agenda, but especially atop the Security Council agenda and an opportunity for the UN to engage more in resolving the conflict in Ukraine. Lithuania's Foreign Minister and the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs discussed the UN role in Syrian peace talks, the North Korean nuclear issue, and mounting tensions in Gaza.
Lithuania, along with Australia, Bangladesh, Benin, Burundi, Djibouti, Cameroon, Canada, Luxembourg, Morocco, Mexico, Mongolia, Pakistan and France, has been elected as member of the Executive Board of the United Nations Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) for the 2019-2021 term.
The Executive Board is the governing body of UNICEF, which is made up of 36 member states, elected to three-year terms by the Economic and Social Council. On 16 April, 14 new member states were elected to the Executive Board.
On 15 January 2018 Permanent Representative of the Republic of Lithuania to the United Nations H.E. Ms Audra Plepytė has deposited the instruments of ratification of the Minamata Convention on Mercury, done at Kunamoto on 10 October 2013. This Convention sets the guidelines to protect human health and the environment from anthropogenic emissions and releases of mercury and mercury compounds.
On 20 September Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevičius participated in the High-Level Open Debate of the UN Security Council Regarding the Reform of UN Peacekeeping.
“Since the inception of the United Nations, a peacekeeping concept which was not even mentioned in the Charter and nowadays it has developed into a flagship activity of the United Nations and became an indispensable tool for maintenance of international peace and security. As a contributing country, Lithuania has a great interest in making peacekeeping more efficient and corresponding to the needs of the 21st century,” Minister Linkevičius said while addressing the UN Security Council.
On 18 September in New York, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius attended side events of the United Nations General Assembly on reforms of the UN.
“The modern world is much different from the one in which the United Nations started its activities more than seven decades ago. Therefore, it’s high time we made some changes. The activities of the United Nations have to be more transparent, effective, and results-oriented. Thus Lithuania supports the reform initiatives launched by the UN Secretary-General António Guterres and is ready to take an active part in the reform process,” said Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Linkevičius.
On September 5th, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Lithuania, H.E. Ms. Audra Plepytė, together with Permanent Representatives of Latvia and Estonia opened an Exhibition at the UN Headquarters in New York, dedicated to the Baltic Appeal to the United Nations movement (BATUN). The exhibition was prepared by the Museum of Occupation of Latvia and presents activities of social organizations during the time of occupation of the Baltic States between 1966 and 1991.
On 18 August, Lithuania’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Audra Plepytė presented her letters of credence to the UN Secretary-General António Guterres.
After the ceremony, the officials discussed the important role of the United Nations in addressing the main global challenges: regional conflicts, management of illegal migration, as well as ensuring the respect for human rights.