President Dalia Grybauskaitė

Dalia Grybauskaitė: The world must be more demanding of international institutions

2018-09-27

Thursday, September 27, Vilnius – Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, President Dalia Grybauskaitė brought the world’s attention to the problems that affect the United Nations and other multilateral institutions in delivering their mission and mandate.

According to the President, not only the United Nations, but also the World Trade Organization is going through a crisis. Therefore, Dalia Grybauskaitė called on the global community and member states to re-empower paralyzed international institutions. They need to be adapted to new realities and emerging challenges.

In her address to the world leaders who have gathered to the annual UN debate, the President warned about the possible consequences of impaired multilateral diplomacy.

Today we wish to think, the President said, that multilateral institutions, including the United Nations, are strong enough to take a stand against aggression and disregard of international rules. But reality tells a different story. The world is more fractured, she said, and institutions are incapable of sheltering us from the use of force and economic storms.

The President underlined that in almost every major crisis of the last decade – from Syria to Ukraine, from Myanmar to Yemen – the UN Security Council was unable to play a meaningful role because of the inability of states to rise above their national interests and obstructive use of veto.

“Organizations created to abolish weapons of mass destruction are toothless against dictators who develop nuclear arms and use chemical weapons on civilians. The World Trade Organization is facing paralysis. Rising global trade tensions could wipe away our achievements in sustainable development and poverty reduction,” the President said.

Dalia Grybauskaitė highlighted the threats posed by rising populism and isolationism.

“We cannot let the voices of nationalism and division win over dialogue and cooperation. On all major challenges there is simply no alternative to working together,” the President said.

According to Dalia Grybauskaitė, so far the world has been too quiet, too passive, too ignorant. We must recognize, she said, that we, the Member States, have the power and resources to enable the United Nations to stand up for peace and freedom, equality and humanity because we are the United Nations, so let’s take responsibility for our future, empowering the UN to act.

The United Nations General Assembly has gathered 150 leaders from around the world. The theme for the general debate this year is "Making the United Nations relevant to all people: global leadership and shared responsibilities for peaceful, equitable and sustainable societies."

Press Service of the President

Last updated 2018.09.27 17:01

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