Statement of Lithuania at the UN Security Council Open Debate "Upholding the United Nations Charter to Maintain International Peace and Security"
National statement delivered by Ambassador Audra Plepytė, Permanent Representative of Lithuania to the UN, at the United Nations Security Council Open Debate "Upholding the United Nations Charter to Maintain International Peace and Security".
Let me begin by commending Viet Nam for convening this important high-level debate. I further wish to express our gratitude to the briefers for their valued contributions. My delegation aligns itself with the statement to be delivered on behalf of the European Union.
The upcoming seventy-fifth anniversary of the United Nations provides an opportune occasion to anew our dedication to the Charter of the United Nations, as well as to reflect on its importance to the international peace and security and to reaffirm its fundamental importance to multilateralism.
As Lithuania marks the thirtieth anniversary of the restoration of independence this year, we recall that one of the main aspects that enabled us to foster our revived statehood was our commitment to the rules-based international order. Our national experience is an important factor encouraging and motivating us to defend and adhere to the principles of the UN Charter. It is with a deep sense of commitment to the founding principles of the UN, as enshrined in the Charter, that we take responsibility to deliver on the promise of peace, reaffirm our dedication to multilateralism. We are dedicated to our collective pursuit of a new generation of approaches, capable of responding to new challenges, including those pertaining to climate change, cybersecurity and hybrid threats.
Integrity of the rules-based international system is indispensable for the maintenance of the international peace and security. Unfortunately, as ongoing conflicts continue to devastate many regions around the globe, some governments take steps to turn their contested claims into faits accomplis through violations of international law and the principles of the Charter. In Europe, we see protracted conflict in Moldova that continues for over two decades. Violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia has entered into its twelfth year. For almost six years now we witness ongoing occupation and annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation and its military actions in eastern Ukraine. These blatant and systemic breaches of the Charter of the United Nations constitute a threat to international peace, security and stability. A strong supporter of the principles enshrined in the Charter, Lithuania will continue to advocate for the accountability for violation of the international law, including the illegal use of force in international relations.
It is crucial for the UN and the international community to develop ability to react swiftly and effectively to repeated violations of the international law. The Secretary-General’s efforts and contribution to conflict resolution, preventive diplomacy, peacebuilding and sustaining peace are therefore of the highest importance. Preventive diplomacy, as well as early action and mediation are vital measures in preventing conflicts and mass atrocities. A decisive element of conflict prevention is in putting an end to impunity and ensuring justice for all. Strong voice of the Security Council and its action in support of international law, accountability and justice is of the utmost significance.
We cannot further risk for the Security Council to lose its relevance. Inaction of the Security Council and the international community, directly or indirectly, encourages aggression, use of force and threatens the entire multilateral system, based on international law. Restraining the use of veto, inter alia, would make the Council’s responses to ongoing crises more coherent and reliable. Lithuania, therefore, strongly supports the initiative on limiting the use of veto in cases of mass atrocities, genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Justice cannot be vetoed. It must surpass political manipulation.
Finally, international peace, security and justice are not possible without adherence to the international law. Ending impunity and ensuring justice is an absolute must in order to reinforce trust in the UN, to secure credibility of the multilateral system, and to ensure its ability to carry out the contemporary stewardship of peace. The resilient and visionary Charter points the way – with its enunciation of universal values, its grounding in peace, development, human rights and the rule of law, and its vision of our shared fate and future.
I thank you.
New York, 9 January, 2020