HIS EXCELLENCY DR. GEDIMINAS SERKSNYS
OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA
TO THE UNITED NATIONS
OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE UNITED NATIONS
14 November 2001 New York
Check against delivery
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I have a special pleasure to see you guide the United Nations General Assembly during this session. I wish to assure you of my delegations' fullest support in all your endeavours. I would like also to extend my congratulations to His Excellency Mr.Kofi Annan for being elected for a second term as Secretary General.
Also with great satisfaction we joint
the rest of the speakers in congratulating Mr.Kofi Annan with receiving
the Nobel Peace Prize. We are proud that the 100th Nobel Prize also honoured
the United Nations as a whole. That, as rightly pointed out the Secretary
General, "challenges us to do more and to do better". It is our responsibility
to ensure that the organisation is at the forefront of efforts to achieve
peace and security in the world.
This year Lithuania celebrates the 10th anniversary of its membership in the United Nations Organisation. In 1991, on 17th September our nation proudly looked at the Lithuanian flag being raised for the first time at the UN.
Over the 10 years we have seen the
rapid transformation of the world order. The world shrank around us with
incredible speed. Benefits that accrued from the globalisation have made
us more dependent upon each other. Thus, more vulnerable to the complex
phenomena defining stability and security of our societies.
Terrorism does not recognise national borders and spill over the international terrain no matter how ingenious defences may be put in place. To achieve successful defences is only possible by common efforts of all international community. It was on 11 September, that a sheer magnitude of the required world defences was comprehended. Terrorism is closely linked extreme poverty, marginalisation, human rights violations,, ethnic strife, proliferation of arms, drug trafficking. Thus, it is essential in the long run to devise and carry on anti-terrorism policy that is inclusive and span all the regions and continents.
From this rostrum I again express my nation's strong condemnation of the terrorist actions and reconfirm our solidarity with the people of the United States. We are determined to stand alongside the international community in combating terrorism. Immediately in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks Lithuania supported the actions taken by the European Union and North Atlantic Alliance, including the NATO decision. to invoke Article 5 of the Washington Treaty. The Government has decided to grant a permanent diplomatic clearance for- the overflight and landing of the United States Government aircraft.
An important step aimed at combating and preventing terrorism was the adoption of unprecedented Security Council Resolution 1373 (2001). Now it is upon the Governments to act without delay following through the detailed requirements of the resolution.
The General Assembly should also make its own contribution, first of all, by speeding up its work on the draft Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.
Domestic legal steps to be taken by the Member States include ratification of twelve UN multilateral instruments directly designed for suppression of terrorism. Lithuania has already stepped up its efforts to accede to remaining five conventions.
In this endeavour experience and practice of other international bodies in fight against terrorism should not be forgotten. For instance, the Council of Europe has successfully elaborated a number of treaties such as European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism, European Convention on Extradition and its protocols, etc. The experience of this regional organisation could also be used in the field of crime prevention, money laundering and corruption. It is to be noted that instruments, belonging to the European Treaties System are also opened to non-member states.
Just last week meeting in Warsaw
at the Conference of Head of States of Central and Eastern Europe on Common
Fight against Terrorism, seventeen leaders from the region, including my
own, adopted the Declaration on Co-operation in Combat against Terrorism
and Plan of Action against Terrorism. It is aimed at improving co-operation
of intelligence, customs and police services, cracking down on money laundering
and drug trafficking.
Challenges of a globalised world are multifarious and interrelated. They require diverse and versatile actions. Therefore, due consideration and resources should be devoted to the problems of arms control, disarmament as well as poverty eradication and sustainable development.
In this regard, I would like to note the First Committee resolution on multilateral co-operation in the area of disarmament and non-proliferation and global efforts against terrorism, adopted a just few weeks ago. It put a dear focus on multilateral efforts to combating international terrorism and fighting the proliferation.
The results of the CTBT Article XIV conference have rekindled a hope that widespread concerns about the lingering entry into force of the Treaty are not left unheard. We also hope that the implementation of the 13 steps agreed upon at the 2000 NPT Review Conference will not be put on hold. Equally, intensive bilateral consultations between the United States and the Russian Federation on a new strategic framework, hopefully, will foster a common understanding and provide a basis for deep reductions in all classes of nuclear weapons, consistent with the commitments under Article VI of the NPT. Strengthening the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention remains an urgent priority.
The 2001 Conference on the Illicit
Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects has yielded the
plan of action, strategy, and political momentum to deal with the small
arms proliferation and misuse. There needs to be a follow-up process to
tackle brokering, marking, and transportation and build upon the measures
agreed thus far. In the meantime, we believe that the faithful implementation
of the Plan of Action may bring about a real change at the end of the day.
History has proven that democratic and prosperous states provide the most favourable environment for human activities. The United Nations should therefore continue in its efforts to promote democratisation and sustainable development. I would also like to underscore the necessity to pay a still greater attention to the promotion and protection of human rights.
Today we face the challenges of a globalised world, which have been caused by rapidly developing technologies, negligent human activities. These challenges, although not as evident as open military conflicts, are any less threatening. Devastated and deteriorating environment may cause conflicts of a scale unseen before.
No effort should be spared to free people from dehumanising conditions of extreme poverty. Assistance, new trade arrangements, and debt relief should be complimented by necessary and strong commitments to poverty reduction, economic equality and supporting education are reflected, first and foremost, in national policies of individual states and concurrently on agendas of international organisations. In this regard, we shall commit ourselves to ensure successful preparation for International Conference on Financing for Development and World Summit on Sustainable Development.
The Summit in Johannesburg should make its concrete contribution towards poverty eradication and promotion of sustainable methods of production and consumption. In this regard, the Government of Lithuania in its domestic policy strives towards economic development that does not impair overall quality of the environment. Priority is given to promotion of investment aimed at pollution prevention, use of clean fuel and energy sources, introduction of low waste and other progressive environmental technologies.
The Conference on Financing for Development
should focus on a better mobilisation and more effective use of financial
resources, and find ways for more efficient co-operation between all development
actors. The meeting is to set up strategic goals of policy coherence in
order to integrate countries with the different level of economic development
into the world economy. Bretton Woods institutions and the private sector
should play an important role in the development process.
The events of September 11th have proved how fragile international security may be. Moreover, in defence of our, common values - freedom, democracy and openness - no nation can idly stand by or act unilaterally. Everybody must pull its weight and contribute to stability regionally and on the international level.
Strengthening dialogue and understanding among the nations and civilisations should also remain in our focus. Better understanding, identified common values shall foster trust and tolerance among people which would never allow spread of fanaticism, violence and terrorism. Lithuania also made its contribution towards these goals by hosting the International Conference of Dialogue among Civilisations in April this year.
For Lithuania, active participation in international organisations and contribution to peace-keeping efforts is of crucial importance. We have continuously provided our civilian police officers to the UN peace-keeping operations through the UN Standby Arrangements system. Our troops have been serving in the Balkans from the very beginning of international engagement in that region. Just a few days ago a Lithuanian medical squad, though a small contribution but nevertheless a much needed for the UN, was placed under the UN Stand-by Arrangements system. Shortly, Lithuania will submit its application for full-fledged membership in Multinational Stand-by High Readiness Brigade for UN Operations.
The membership in the EU and NATO will solidify our region's institutional, economic and security bonds. Lithuania spares no efforts to get ready for the challenges of a unified Pan-Atlantic family of democracies. The work of Vilnius Ten Group, initiated a few years ago and launched in Vilnius, has proved the ability of the region's states to promote transparency, partnership and common values.
On the sub-regional level, Lithuania
stresses practical co-operative efforts to uphold democratic and economic
transformation throughout the region. Over the last decade our engagement
with Poland turned into close partnership. A dynamic trilateral Baltic
co-operation merged into a broader BalticNordic co-operation. An exemplary
trans-frontier co-operation with Kaliningrad region has spilled over in
a great deal of dynamic developments.
just a couple of days on the 8 of November Lithuania assumed Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.
The Council of Europe, based on the common values of pluralist democracy, human rights and the rule of law, already has a history of co-operation with the UN and its agencies, first and outmost in the field of human rights. Recent joint efforts by the United Nations, OSCE and the Council of Europe to facilitate recovery of South-eastern Europe have proven to be of outmost significance for the peoples of the region and opened up a new page in co-operation between these organisations.
During its chairmanship Lithuania will seek to stimulate the dialogue between the Council of, Europe and the UN and its specialised agencies. We would encourage regular exchange of views on issues related with fight and prevention of terrorism, organised crime, and money laundering between the Council of Europe and the United Nations. Intensive co-ordination in the areas of standard setting for a pluralist democracy and respect of human rights will be promoted.
In the work of the Council of Europe
the main focus of the Lithuanian chairmanship will be place to fighting
against terrorism, supporting the enlargement process of the Council of
Europe, promotion of regional co-operation, ensuring effectiveness of the
functioning of the organisation. With the aim of building a modern pan-European
society we will keep on working towards establishing a wider European identity,
sharing the best practices of the Council of Europe with other organisations
and states, and strengthening the impact of the Council of Europe.
I thank you