Lithuania is getting ready to take over in May the presidency of the United Nations (UN) Security Council responsible for preserving international peace and security.
© AP/Scanpix

During the presidency, Lithuania will have to coordinate issues in connection to the situation in the Middle East and migration from North Africa to the European Union.

Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius said that settling refugee issues in the Mediterranean Sea should be initiated by Italy via the Security Council members of Spain and the United Kingdom. In his words, Great Britain is willing to take the leadership on these matters.

"One of the aspects is efforts against the criminal groups, as well as the humanitarian aid, there is a possibility of a certain mission in Northern Africa," the minister told BNS.

Lithuania has been elected to the UN Security Council for 2014 and 2015, and first presided over the institution in February, 2014.

In Linkevicius' words, Lithuania's priorities include the consolidation of principles of the rule of law, protection of civilians during conflicts and arms control. The Baltic state also presides over the Counter-Terrorism Committee and two sanctions committees, namely, on Central African Republic and Yemen, capital of which is currently controlled by Shiite rebels.

In the framework of its presidency, Lithuania will hold public debates in New York on safety of journalists.

The UN Security Council has 15 countries, with five permanent members – the United States, China, Russia, Great Britain and France – exercising a veto right.

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