Lithuania has reached the half-point in its two-year membership in the United Nations (UN) Security Council. Throughout 2014, the Lithuanian delegation mostly focused on the conflict in Ukraine, the rule of law, protection of civilians in armed conflicts, reinforcement of UN cooperation with the European Union (EU) and proper implementation of the Security Council's decisions on sanctions, the Foreign Ministry has said.
UN Security Council
© AFP/Scanpix

According to the press release, the Crimea and Ukraine issue was included into the Security Council agenda thanks to Lithuania's efforts. Since February 2014, Lithuania has initiated eight meetings of the Council to discuss situation in Ukraine, and the issue has been discussed 26 times in all. Lithuania also keeps raising the issue of human rights violations in Crimea, which has been occupied by Russia, including an informal discussion of the Security Council members with a representative of the Crimean tatars and a Crimean journalist in April and a round-table discussion with representatives of Ukrainian non-governmental organizations in December.

At the Security Council, Lithuania also constantly raises issues of responsibility for war crimes and crimes against humanity, illegal arms trade, violations of international humanitarian aid, sexual violence and protection of women and children in armed conflicts, the ministry said in the press release. Along with other council members, Lithuania achieved in December that the issue of human rights situation in North Korea was included into the Security Council's agenda.

In 2015, the second year of the Lithuanian term at the Security Council, the UN institution in charge of international peace and security will face challenges in the Middle East, Ukraine, South Sudan and Central African Republic. Lithuania will continue focusing on the rule of law and human rights, efforts against illegal arms trade, safety of journalists and conflict prevention, reads the press release.

In May 2015, Lithuania will preside over the Security Council for the second time. The country was elected as non-permanent member of the Security Council for the 2014–2015 period. In 2015, the Security Council will include the following countries: Angola, Chad, Chile, China, France, Jordan, Lithuania, Malaysia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Russia, Spain, the United Kingdom, the United States and Venezuela.

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