United Nations Human Rights Council is an inter-governmental United Nations body responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the world, investigating situations of human rights violations and making recommendations on them. It is able to address all thematic human rights issues and situations that require its attention throughout the year. Human Rights Council was established by the UN General Assembly in 2006 and replaced the former UN Commission on Human Rights. The headquarters of the Human Rights Council is at the UN Office in Geneva, Switzerland. Human Rights Council consists of 47 United Nations Member States elected by the UN General Assembly for a three-year term.
Lithuania’s aspiration for membership of the Human Rights Council rests on experience of reforms based on respect for human rights, the human rights policy of the European Union, following the foreign policy based on the principles of freedom, democracy, human rights, the rule of law and multilateral decision-making and a close dialogue with civil society.
Lithuania, as a member of the Human Rights Council, will follow the principle of universality and indivisibility of human rights and continue to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Lithuania will make use of its experience of membership of the United Nations bodies, first and foremost, of the United Nations Security Council, the Executive Board of UNESCO, and the Executive Board of the UN Women.
Lithuania actively contributes toward the aims the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and is active in the international development cooperation.
Lithuania will seek to ensure that economic difficulties arising from the COVID-19 pandemic should not cause a human rights crisis.
As a state party to major human rights treaties Lithuania undertakes to further improvement of the human rights situation in the country. A lot of attention is given to progress on the implementation of the recommendations addressed to Lithuania during the universal periodic review and other United Nations human rights protection mechanisms.
We present Lihuania’s priorities in the Human Rights Council 2022-2024:
Protection of human rights defenders
Lithuania will pursue to achieve that human rights defenders and all those who defend freedoms and rights could carry out their activities unimpeded. Lithuania pledges to encourage governments to fulfil their international commitments to protect and promote human rights and to defend victims of human rights violations and abuses.
Rights of the child
Lithuania pledges to encourage a better implementation of the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and its protocols seeking to achieve that the rights of the child should be comprehensively protected and children should be safe in all circumstances of their life and should not experience violence, bullying or abuse.
Rights of persons with disabilities
Lithuania will pursue to achieve that the persons with disabilities could fully enjoy all human rights and freedoms, to ensure respect for their inherent dignity and to create conditions enabling their full social integration.
Human rights in conflict areas
Human rights are most severely violated during the time of armed conflicts, therefore Lithuania will seek to not only address the existing violations of human rights in a timely manner, but also support prevention of such conflicts in close cooperation with human rights defenders.
Lithuania will continue its activities in defending the rights of women and girls, freedom of expression, including safety of journalists, freedom of peaceful assembly and association, and freedom of religion and belief.
Lithuania will also actively respond to new threats arising to human rights in the areas of digitalisation, data protection, artificial intelligence, climate change, global health emergencies, migration and others.
Lithuania’s commitments with regard to the working methods in the Human Rights Council
Will pursue for mainstreaming and deeper integration of human rights into all areas of work of the United Nations, will actively promote and defend the rules based international order, including the protection of human rights.
Making use of the existing instruments to respond to human rights crises we will strive for a more effective and efficient response of the Human Rights Council to the emerging threats to human rights and fundamental freedoms in the world.
Lithuania pledges to cooperate with non-governmental organisations and encourages a regular dialogue of governments and the Human Rights Council with civil society and human rights defenders.
Lithuania pledges to cooperate in an open and transparent manner with all Members of the United Nations.
Lithuania believes that the effective implementation of human rights and freedoms strengthens peace, security, democracy and prosperity, prevents aggression, humanitarian crises, corruption and crime.