Dalia Grybauskaite

Address at the United Nations General Assembly - Sept. 23, 2011

Dalia Grybauskaite
September 23, 2011— New York, New York
United Nations General Assembly
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Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Twenty years ago Lithuania rejoined the international community of sovereign states and became a member of the United Nations. The unique experience of peaceful transition, state building and reforms during the last twenty years has made Lithuania stronger and more determined. History has taught us that an honest broker at national, bilateral or multilateral level is the key to solve almost any problem. In recent years we invested in building our capacity to become such a broker. Lithuania has just concluded its chairmanship of the Community of Democracies. Today we are proud to chair the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. I am also confident that Lithuania's commitment to effective multilateralism and the fostering of dialogue and cooperation internationally makes Lithuania a deserving candidate for non-permanent membership of the UN Security Council. We are ready and determined to run for the Security Council's non-permanent seat for the 2014-15 period. Meanwhile, looking forward to Lithuania's presidency of the 67th session of the UN General Assembly next year, I would like to assure you that we will do our utmost to contribute effectively and wisely to the work and principles of the United Nations in any of its bodies.

Just a few months ago women leaders from all parts of the world met in Vilnius to share their experiences in enhancing the democracy worldwide. This event, organized by Lithuania as Chair of the Community of Democracies, confirmed my belief that the involvement of women is still very low in addressing common problems and concerns. Therefore, Lithuania strongly welcomes the resolution on peace mediation proposed by Finland and Turkey and adopted by the General Assembly. I am very pleased that this resolution advocates a stronger role of women in peace mediation. The full involvement of women in conflict resolution, peace talks and decisions on post-conflict reconstruction is essential. The same applies to the protection of women in conflict situations as defined in the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 and related resolutions. I would like to announce that Lithuania has drawn up its first national action plan for implementing Resolution 1325.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We live in the era of constant change. The maintenance and improvement of our ability to tackle traditional crises must be supplemented with the United Nation's increased capacity to address new threats and challenges. Energy security, cybercrime, food safety, climate change are only a few to mention. I especially appreciate and would like to stress the importance of the UN Secretary General's strong engagement in nuclear safety and his call to build a stronger connection between nuclear safety and nuclear security. Knowing the world's energy needs today, nuclear energy can be an essential element of global sustainable development, provided it is used with the necessary responsibility. I would like to draw your special attention to the word "responsibility". Chernobyl and Fukushima are tragic examples, but they teach us very important lessons. It is not enough to rely only on recommendations, proposals and encouragement for cooperation when we deal with nuclear safety issues. I do believe that our responsibility is to create strict legal international imperatives. We cannot allow any compromises on safety and security.

?In this respect, the efforts of the United Nations, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the European Union, and other organizations to ensure nuclear safety throughout the world are most welcome. Lithuania emphasizes the key role of the International Atomic Energy Agency in this area. We welcome the ambitious nuclear safety action plan approved at the ongoing IAEA General Conference in Vienna. Lithuania believes that strict adherence to uniform nuclear safety standards must be obligatory. Specialized Agency missions for the entire nuclear cycle, including site evaluation and follow-up missions, should also become an inseparable part of any nuclear power plant development. Each and every nuclear power plant, its site, nuclear technology, and even the ability of the personnel to ensure safety maintenance should be subjected to stress tests. Last but not least, information about all existing and planned nuclear projects must be absolutely transparent and open to public access.

?We believe that the nuclear security summit in Korea next year will provide an excellent platform for discussing nuclear safety and security issues. With a view to this forthcoming summit, Lithuania is ready to contribute to the practical measures set forth in the 2010 Nuclear Security Summit Work Plan.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The prevention of any type of crisis - be it military conflict, nuclear accident or terrorist act - is the challenge for all of us. But it is also the opportunity. The opportunity to strengthen the UN's leadership. The opportunity to intensify our joint work. The opportunity to promote dialogue and mediation. Even the opportunity to save resources, which can then be devoted to research and development, protection of the environment and support for the most vulnerable. And I invite us to seize that opportunity. For the sake of our common safety, security and prosperity.

Thank you for the attention.