Mr. Secretary General,
Mr. President,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

First of all, I would like to express my sincere thanks to President Jan Kavan of the previous General Assembly. Mr. President, we do appreciate your knowledge and skillful leadership. I wish the incoming President, Mr. Julian R. Hunte of Saint Lucia, a year of constructive dialogue and co-operation.

This year was full of shocking news and human tragedies. In July We lost a noble man and a distinguished diplomat, our friend Mr. Sergio Vierra de Mello, and many others who happened to be on their duty at the UN premises on that tragic day in Baghdad. And quite recently we paid final tribute to Ms. Anna Lindh, Swedish Foreign Minister and our good friend, who fell victim to another act of human insanity. We grieve for those lost, but we also remember their works and uncompleted missions.

Iraq is one such unfinished business. Restoration of sovereignity and implementation of a political process leading to the establishment of a fully representative government through democratic elections is our primary goal. Yet state building is not an overnight process. Only through coordinated effort and close international cooperation can we expect to rebuild a free and peaceful Iraq. The UN with its unique experience and legitimacy is essential to efforts to help the Iraqi people recover their sovereignity. In Iraq, the first signs of recovery are already visible, as demonstrated by the appointment of a Governing Council and by the formation of a preparatory constitutional committee. These positive developments should be supported and encouraged. Thus, we look forward to the upcoming Madrid conference which will address many issues important to Iraq’s future. International support is indispensable, and sometimes even critical, to the people coping with the legacies of a fallen dictatorship.

Current setbacks in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians must not preclude the implementation of the Road Map. The vision of two states living side by side in peace and prosperity remains the only viable option.

Mr. President,

The real strength of our power as international community continues to lie in our resolve to deal collectively with critical issues. The recent report of the Secretary General posed us hard questions. We need to find consensus on the conceptual and political framework for the United Nations to operate in the forthcoming decades. Lithuania firmly supports United Nations in pursuance of the goals enshrined in the UN Charter. We share the view that multilateral institutions must be updated and reinforced. It is absolutely important that the UN and its principal organs be seen as relevant and effective. Lithuania is ready to contribute to the goal of building an international order based on effective multilateral institutions and on the fundamental goals of the United Nations Charter. Lasting peace is our collective responsibility. The Security Council must be able to take leadership in maintaining international peace and security. Thus Lithuania supports substantial reform for the better, equitable representation in both categories, permanent or non-permanent, through the inclusion of Germany and Japan, as well as certain other leading countries from other regions. Lithuania welcomes the intention of the Secretary General to establish a High-Level Panel of eminent personalities to address responses to current challenges. A good example of how such fundamental policy questions could be dealt with is European Convention which prepared draft European Constitution.

Mr. President,

Regrettably, terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery continues to be on the list of our greatest security concerns. The Thessaloniki European Council declaration on non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and EU Basic Principles and Action Plan for countering proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction have been a well-defined response, which Lithuania joins and contributes to its implementation. Let me also recall The Hague Code of Conduct against proliferation of ballistic missiles that is yet another result of multilateral efforts and is worth of global universalisation.

Global stability also requires regional efforts. In this context, I would like to note with satisfaction that next year Lithuania and some other Central and Eastern European countries will join the European Union and NATO, thus expanding the zone of stability and democracy in Europe. Moreover, our accession will have important positive effects to the nations that will appear at the EU and NATO’s borders. Lithuania is determined to continue its good neighborly policies and develop closer relations with the new EU neighbours. I should also pay your attention to the Baltic-Caucasus regional cooperation where a number of successful initiatives is already developing.

Mr. President,

We witness the willingness to adopt more effective measures to combat terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. Invariably, more conventional challenges can be dealt with by transparency and confidence building activities. As a new state party to the Ottawa Convention, Lithuania is committed to contribute practically to its implementation and promotion. We feel it increasingly important to facilitate regional dialogue and action that contributes to the abolition of anti-personnel mines and to clearing up old unexploded ordinance. We have already started working with interested parties.

Mr. President,

Democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms undoubtedly takes the most important position within the system of values. It is a great challenge to secure this system with the view to the process of globalization. Such global harms as poverty, hunger, unsustainable development, disastrous massive pandemics, grave violations of human rights raises before us a vital task to stand together in order to secure the future of our children. Stable conditions for peace cannot be created without addressing poverty and eradicating social exclusion. Therefore we should put all our effort to achieve the goals that we ourselves agreed in the Millennium Declaration. Lithuania as a future member of the EU, is also assuming it’s responsibilities as an emerging donor in this regard.

Thank you, Mr. President.