Statement by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania at the Preparatory Ministerial Meeting for the Summit of the Future on 21 September 2023 in New York
Mr President of the General Assembly,]
Ministers, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to start by thanking Secretary-General Guterres, for laying out his vision for the future of global cooperation in Our Common Agenda, calling for inclusive, networked, and effective multilateralism.
Lithuania fully supports Our Common Agenda and the UN reform efforts leading to the Summit of the Future in 2024.
Today, more than ever, we need a well-functioning, rules-based international order with an effective United Nations at its core.
As we witness rising efforts from rogue states around the world to shake and re-shape the existing world order and erase norms and values of international law, it is obvious that the current system is failing.
We are failing to deliver on our priorities such as Sustainable Development Goals at the same time when a permanent member of the UN Security Council – Russia – Is mocking the UN Charter and the whole rules-based international order with its unprovoked, unjustified, illegal and bloody invasion against its democratic and peaceful neighbour Ukraine.
When the United Nations was created, the key pillar and the whole essence of the organisation was to maintain international peace and security.
If the UN cannot ensure its primary goal, it is fair to ask whether the whole multilateral system in its current form still serves its purpose.
Is the future we are talking about is the one where Member States attack other Member States with impunity, commit aggression, war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity, cause humanitarian and human rights catastrophe with consequences across the globe, while key organisations that suppose to prevent this from happening remain paralysed?
Isn’t it absurd that we are still discussing the future of the world with a country that wants to destroy that future?
It is evident that the aggressor’s only potential future offering is one marked by bloodshed and the spread of chaos supported by its blatant lies and manipulation of values we protect wholeheartedly.
Let me be abundantly clear, without just and sustainable peace, all other goals – from human rights and gender equality to addressing climate change, water, energy and food security – will not be achieved.
And we cannot wait any longer.
A “New Agenda for Peace”, must convey a renewed commitment from all countries to uphold the principles of the UN Charter, ensure international peace and security and abstain from any form of threat or use of force.
Otherwise, I am afraid, we might not have much of a future to talk about.
I thank you