Lithuania takes over Presidency of CoE’s Committee of Ministers

Council of Europe
Ingrida Šimonytė, Lithuania's Prime Minister, has taken over the rotating Presidency of the Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers on behalf of her country from Dominique Hasler, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Education and Sport of Liechtenstein. 

Lithuania has taken over the rotating Presidency of the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers from Liechtenstein at a meeting of foreign affairs ministers from 46 member states.

Addressing the Committee of Ministers, the outgoing Chairperson, Dominique Hasler, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Education and Sport of Liechtenstein, gave an overview of her country’s achievements.

Ingrida Šimonytė, Lithuania’s Prime Minister, then outlined the priorities of the Lithuanian Presidency for the next six months.

Lithuania’s priorities include supporting Ukraine in defending itself against Russia’s war of aggression, implementing the Reykjavik Summit decisions, protecting our values against aggression and authoritarianism, promoting democracy, human rights, and the rule of law at home and worldwide, and addressing the digital dimension of freedom.

“Today’s geopolitical landscape is completely different [than 20 years before], first and foremost due to Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. Each day is marked by the unimaginable cruelty of the aggressor and the suffering of the Ukrainian people. It is our common fundamental obligation to support Ukraine in this fight until its victory, whatever this victory takes.  

At the same time, we witness the dangerous rise of authoritarianism, declining respect for universal human rights, and backsliding of democracy, where those who dare to defend democratic values are under attack, labelled as enemies, brutalised, and oppressed,” stated Gabrielius Landsbergis, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania.

“We continue to offer support and demand the safe return of the Ukrainian children, who have been kidnapped by the invaders, deported and illegally adopted in Russia with a genocidal aim of changing their national and cultural identity. We are supporting all possible actions in this regard, including through the dedicated Consultation Group on the Children of Ukraine (CGU),” added Minister Landsbergis.

“In line with Reykjavik’s decisions, the Council of Europe under Lithuania’s Presidency will also continue with a forward-looking agenda, developing new guidance, instruments, and cooperation formats in the context of modern challenges, such as the fight against discrimination and hate speech, artificial intelligence and protection of human rights, as well as the impact of the triple planetary crisis on human rights, democracy and the rule of law”.

“The Framework Convention on Artificial Intelligence, Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law is making history as the first international instrument of its kind. We would appreciate the opportunity to open it for signature in Vilnius and undertake to contribute significantly to the Convention’s visibility and impact,” emphasised the Lithuanian Minister.

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