President of the Republic of Lithuania President of the Republic of Lithuania

The President called on the UN General Assembly to defend democratic values

2020-09-23

President Gitanas Nausėda remotely addressed the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly urging the international community to cooperate more closely, defend human rights with greater resolve and maintain peace more firmly. The President focused on the events in Belarus and Russia’s efforts to undermine the foundations of the international order.

The President underlined that Lithuania’s respect for the international order stemmed from the painful historical experience, first of all, memories of crimes committed by the occupation regimes.

“The century-old mistakes must not be repeated”, said the President urging the international community not to give in to those who tried to falsify and manipulate history to serve their current political agenda.

According to the President, the recent events in Belarus, where the authorities after the fraudulent presidential elections brutally suppressed peaceful protests, tortured detained protesters and committed other serious human rights violations, were incompatible with the UN values. The President called on the international community to deplore these actions targeted against justice and the rule of law.

“Allowing it to go unnoticed and without a response would only foster a climate of impunity and undermine the rule of law on a global scale”, the President said.

According to the President, the time had come to defend the values of democratic societies, therefore, the UN institutions had to demand the current authorities of Belarus to refrain from the use of force, respect human rights and start a peaceful transition of power.

The President also raised the issue of the poisoning of Alexey Navalny and highlighted that the international community had to insist on the responsibility of Russia for breaking the international norms through the occupation of parts of Georgia that lasted over a decade as well as illegal annexation of Crimea and the ongoing aggression against Ukraine.

“Lithuania welcomes Ukraine's efforts to negotiate an end to the war and calls on Russia to move closer to a sustainable political resolution. Any future agreement should fully respect Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity – no other solution is possible", said the President confirming that Lithuania continued to support legitimate claims of Georgia and Ukraine.

In his address, the President reminded of Lithuania's aspirations to be elected as a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council for the term starting in 2022 and briefly presented the efforts to implement the UN Goals for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. The President stressed that safe and secure energy was not the goal of all states.

“We see the new nuclear power plant in Belarus as a geopolitical project aimed at maintaining Russian sphere of influence. Built without proper risk assessment and necessary consultations just 40 kilometers from our capital city, it challenges regional nuclear and environmental safety”, the President said emphasizing that nuclear accidents respected no borders.

The President also reminded that positive change in the global world could only be achieved by working together. “We need the eyes that see and the hearts that dare.   We need to defend the powerless and to fight the impunity of the powerful. We need to uphold multilateralism and the rules-based international order at any cost”, said the President in his address.

The President‘s Communication Group

Last updated 2020.09.23 01:44

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