On 25 June, the Permanent Representative of Lithuania to the United Nations, Ambassador Audra Plepytė was elected as Chair of the fifth Meeting of States parties to the Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance. A. Plepytė is the first representative of the Eastern European Group to chair the meeting of the States Parties to the Convention after its entry into force in 2010.
In the Convention, "enforced disappearance" is defined as the arrest, detention, abduction or any other form of deprivation of liberty by agents of the State or by persons or groups of persons acting with the authorisation, support or acquiescence of the State, followed by a refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of liberty or by concealment of the fate or whereabouts of the disappeared person, which place such a person outside the protection of the law.
On 12 March the President of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė took part in a high level meeting on Women in Power at the invitation of María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, President of the United Nations General Assembly. The event aims to attract attention to major obstacles for women’s participation in politics and business, promote women’s leadership and share experiences on women’s empowerment.
The event hosted by President of the UN General Assembly María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés was attended by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović of Croatia, President Kersti Kaljulaid of Estonia, the presidents of Nepal, Trinidad and Tobago, the prime minister of Iceland, the vice president of Columbia, the vice president of Panama, EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, ministers, and other high ranking officials.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania has allocated EUR 20, 000 for humanitarian aid in Yemen. The funds will be transferred to the United Nations Yemen Humanitarian Fund.
These actions contribute to the implementation of the Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan (YHRP) of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The UN appealed for $4 billion to cover humanitarian needs in Yemen in 2019.
On 4 February, the Permanent Representative of Lithuania to the United Nations, Ambassador Audra Plepytė deposited an instrument of accession to the Convention on Road Traffic with the United Nations.
Lithuania's accession to this Convention allows Lithuanian driving license holders to drive in countries that have ratified the Geneva Convention on the Road Traffic. On 2 October 2018, the Seimas ratified the Convention, which was signed on 19 September 1949 in Geneva. Law on Ratification of the Road Traffic Convention came into force on 1 January 2019.
The Lithuanian Diplomatic Service marks its 100th anniversary on 7 November 2018. In their congratulatory messages, the leaders of the United Nations and NATO underline the contribution of Lithuanian diplomacy into international organisations and the significance of diplomatic activities while aspiring to independence during the soviet occupation.
President Dalia Grybauskaitė, who chairs the Council of Women World Leaders, held a high-level event on economic growth through women’s empowerment at the United Nations General Assembly.
Taking part were UN Secretary-General António Guterres, Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid, Maltese President Marie-Louise Coleiro, Prime Ministers of Norway and Bangladesh, President of the World Bank Jim Yong Kim, and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet.
On 27 September, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius attended a high-level side event “Engaging youth in mediation – a step towards lasting peace” of the UN General Assembly, which was organized by the Group of Friends of Mediation.