Lithuanian president: Reform of United Nations unavoidable

Dalia Grybauskaitė
Reuters/Scanpix

The president pointed out that the world had entered an era where the most primitive and brutal executions coexisted with new forms of terrorism, the most sophisticated information, hybrid and cyber warfare. Therefore, it is necessary to find quick and effective ways of action so as to contribute to peace around the world.

“The global community faces a major refugee crisis, terrorist attacks, violence, and poverty. The world map is being changed by a creeping, aggressive occupation. However, the United Nations – an organization which should be the first to respond – increasingly remains only a passive observer, weakening its role and disregarding human values,” the Lithuanian president said.

Russia annexed Crimea last year, as it seeks to rewrite history and redraw the borders of post-war Europe. It is a huge blow to the global community which has survived without world wars for seven decades, the president said. It is also yet another loud warning that the United Nations, through its failure to stand up for independence, sovereignty and unity, allows crimes against humanity to spread, grow, and take over.

“Lawlessness and violations of human rights breed the worst of the worst, extremists, radicals, and terrorists. We simply cannot afford this to happen. We must be adapted to the realities of the 21st century and have the necessary tools to operate,” the Lithuanian president said.

Dalia Grybauskaitė emphasized that we all have the duty to protect human rights and pursue full responsibility when they are violated. She therefore urged world leaders to put an end to the use of veto in the cases of genocide, atrocity crimes, crimes against humanity, and war crimes, adding that vetoing a Security Council resolution commemorating the Srebrenica massacre, or a tribunal for the downing of MH17 was unjustifiable and an insult to the memory of the victims.

President Grybauskaitė also focused on the refugee crisis facing Europe and other parts of the world. It is a global crisis that requires a global response, she said. Unless we address the causes that make people flee their homes, these flows will not stop and conflicts will continue.

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