Statement by Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius at the Event “Alliance for Multilateralism: Building the Network and Presenting Results”

26.09.2019 - Speech

Ladies and Gentlemen,
The faith of my Government in multilateralism and rules based international order could not be overstated.

Lithuania, together with many other countries owes its independence to the new multilateral rules based system that emerged at the end of the First World War. We joined the League of Nations and cofounded the Permanent Court of International Justice, the predecessors of today’s United Nations and International Court of Justice. By the time when the League of Nations ceased to exist, Lithuania and two other Baltic States were occupied by the Soviet Union. Nevertheless, we come back to the international community after regaining our independence. We are committed to protect and promote multilateralism and rules based international order because we experienced what lawlessness is.

If there are no rules, there is no multilateral governance. Our support to the rules based international order should become the foundation for our actions across different fora and topics.

The role of the UN as the main mechanism for multilateral cooperation must be revived and strengthened with the participation of the whole international community. Slamming the door does not makes one greater. It only leaves the room emptier. International law and multilateralism is the only alternative to coercion by undemocratic/autocratic regimes, spheres of influence, client states and terrorist organisations. With this in mind, we need to continue to critically assess and review our respective roles and responsibilities.

We could not speak about multilateralism and rules based international order and disregard ongoing violations of international law, aggression and impunity. Coherence in our words and actions is crucial to the credibility of our goal.

I would like to take this opportunity to highlight our support to the goals formulated in the declaration for International Partnership for Information and Democracy. Striving for freedom of expression online and offline, better protection of journalists and effective countering of disinformation, have been Lithuania’s top priority for the last years. Despite the changing landscape of today’s communication, media independence and transparency are indispensable preconditions and essential safeguards of well-functioning democracy.

In support of this forum, I would like to invite us to continue exploring the opportunities for cooperation, providing global solutions and reinforcing multilateralism.

I thank you.