Statement by Mr. Kęstutis Navickas
Minister of Environment of the Republic of Lithuania
"Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world"
Mr. President, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
My delegation aligns itself with the statement made on behalf of the European Union. In my national capacity, allow me to underline the following.
The entire world progresses in implementing Sustainable Development Goals that are universal, integrated and indivisible. Lithuania welcomes the approach to mobilize early action on each of them. This year we discuss poverty eradication and promoting prosperity, though bearing in mind that sustainable development will be achieved only by sustaining peace and ensuring the respect to human rights.
Older people in Lithuania meet age related challenges, and the task of the Government is to assist them and to give considerable attention for the issues related to the ageing society. In Lithuania older people are encouraged to take part in social, economic, political and cultural life by ensuring representation of their interests.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Lithuania ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol in 2010 and has since taken measures to ensure its effective implementation and to guarantee quality life for persons with disabilities. Lithuania’s first implementation report was submitted in April 2016.
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Baltic and Nordic States: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Norway, Sweden and my own country Lithuania. Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Ireland, and Poland align themselves with this statement.
With the global number of refugees and displaced persons reaching tens of millions of persons, including hundreds of thousands in Georgia, the urgency to address the needs and plight of those affected is more than evident.
The World Humanitarian Summit and UN summit for Refugees and Migrants held in 2016 have once again highlighted the crippling impact that protracted conflicts and continued displacement have on affected persons and communities, with serious repercussions at a regional and international level. Therefore we fully support the UN Secretary-General’s call for renewed efforts to prevent internal displacement, address its root causes and support affected communities.
This resolution commits us all to continue working for the protection and assistance to those who have been forcibly displaced from the Abkhazia and Tskhinvali/South Ossetia regions of Georgia.
We thank the Uruguayan Presidency of the Security Council for convening the open debate on the issue that plagues and exacerbates many contemporary conflicts.
At the outset, we commend Ms. Zainab Bangura, for her hard work and dedication as SRSG on conflict-related sexual violence for the past years. We congratulate Ms. Pramila Patten with her recent appointment and wish her success.
I thank Deputy Secretary General Amina Mohammed and other briefers, Mr. Dieng and Ms. Jaf, for their critical contributions and testimonies. We welcome the comprehensive report of the UN Secretary-General and its recommendations.
Lithuania aligns itself with the statements delivered by the European Union and the Group of Friends of Women, Peace and Security.
Almost a decade has passed since the Security Council recognized sexual violence as a tactic of war. Despite all efforts of the international community, conflict-related sexual violence remains an acute issue. It is getting more complex with ever increasing violent extremism and terrorism, displacement driven by conflict, mass migration and human trafficking.
Women journalists and media workers are an integral part of the media fabric ensuring the constant flow news from around the world. It took persistence and determination for women journalists to break down barriers and stereotypes and be able to report from conflict zones.
It's my pleasure to address this audience in the sixty first session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women and to share Lithuania’s views.
On the outset let me stress Lithuania’s conviction that women’s economic empowerment and economic independence are essential for the full implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action and of the 2030 Agenda, in particular, SDG (Social Development Goal) 5 on achieving gender equality, and SDG 8 on inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full employment and decent work for all.
Allow me at the outset to congratulate Mr. Pavlo Klimkin, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, on your country’s successful presidency of the Security Council for the month February and for having organized this debate. The theme proposed for discussion today allows us to evaluate current threats to international peace and security posed by the conflicts in Europe and discuss the best ways to tackle them.
I would like to start by congratulating newly appointed co-chairs of the IGN on Security Council Reform, Ambassador Dr. Ion Jinga of Romania and Ambassador Mr. Mohammed Khaled Khiari of Tunisia, and wish them great success in driving this difficult topic forward. Lithuania is ready to continue its engagement in these negotiations in a constructive and result-orientated manner.
Let me thank the Director General of the IAEA for his presentation of the Agency’s annual report and an update of its activities in 2016. Lithuania has co-sponsored the Resolution on the Report of the International Atomic Energy Agency which reaffirms the indispensable role of the Agency with regard to non-proliferation, use of atomic energy for peaceful purposes as well as nuclear verification, safety and security.
Lithuania aligned itself with the statement delivered by the European Union yesterday.
Today we adopted an important resolution on the consequences of Chernobyl nuclear disaster, one of the biggest disasters in human history. Thirty years after the accident we can still witness the long term nature of Chernobyl’s impact, with humanitarian, environmental, social, economic, and health consequences. We appreciate the efforts of the international community to mitigate the consequences of the Chernobyl accident. Solidarity of regional and global partners in the face of such accidents is crucial.
Let me start by thanking our German colleagues for their excellent work on the resolution on the situation in Afghanistan, which my delegation has cosponsored. Lithuania aligns itself with a statement delivered on behalf of the European Union.
We welcome the successful conclusion of the Brussels Conference in October this year. It renewed the partnership for prosperity and peace between the Government of Afghanistan and the international community, and endorsed the Afghan Government’s ambitious reform agenda. Our collective commitment to Afghanistan over the next four years is critical to ensure that Afghanistan stays on the path to political and economic stability.
Thank you for organizing this highly pertinent debate. As other said, UN peacekeepers today operate in a more challenging environment than at any time in peacekeeping history, increasingly- where there is no peace to keep. The latest attack and loss of life in Mali is yet another reminder of the threats peace keepers face.
In 2015, the HIPPO report and the report of the Expert Panel on technology and innovation in United Nations peacekeeping are clear on the need for change at all stages of mission life. Their recommendations, if realized, would help to improve missions’ ability to deliver on their mandates - and to protect peacekeepers who continue to lose their lives in the line of duty.
Equal participation of women shifts the dynamics at the negotiating table by bringing in a broader range of concerns and perspectives, enabling inclusive durable solutions on conflict resolution, building peaceful societies and ensuring sustained development and prosperity. I thank the Secretary General for a clear focus on implementation in his latest report. My delegation aligns itself with the statement on behalf of the EU. In addition, let me make the following points.
Lithuania’s position on conventional arms is fully reflected in the statement of the European Union delivered last week. In my national capacity I would like to underline few additional aspects.
The massive illicit flows of arms and ammunition as well as lack of the effective control fuel conflicts, exacerbates violence and impedes development. An easy access to conventional weapons facilitates spreading terra by various armed and criminal groups.