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President: "Our unity, trust, determination to act, and open respect for values and international commitments are the guiding principles on the path to a more secure world"

Monday, June 29, Vilnius - President of the Republic of Lithuania Valdas Adamkus participated in the opening session of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Parliamentary Assembly.


In his address to the participants in the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly's Session, the President underlined that during the Cold War, when the two worlds were locked in a dangerous standoff, the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe played an exclusive role in maintaining a continuous political dialogue between the East and West, unwaveringly raising the question of human rights and contributing in this way to some progress in the Soviet Union, and that later on, the Conference emerged as the catalyst for a radical transformation of Europe.

The Head of State noted that the foundations of the totalitarian regime were also eroded by the Helsinki groups set up in Russia, Ukraine, Armenia, Lithuania, and other Central and Eastern European countries.

"Today we are proud to have distinguished members of the Lithuanian Helsinki group among us. We are grateful to you for your relentless fight for Lithuanian independence. You continued to spread the ideals of civil society, fundamental human rights and freedoms, and critical thought in defiance of the pressure exerted upon you and your families by the totalitarian regime," President Adamkus said.

Recalling the changes that took place over the past decade in Central and Eastern Europe and in the Black Sea region countries, the President underlined that we could not close our eyes and ignore the fact that Georgia's territorial integrity had been grossly violated and that both the UN and OSCE missions had departed from Georgia.

As stressed by the President, we cannot go back to the world divided into spheres of influence. "We cannot accept "new realities" imposed by force. We cannot leave thousands of people, who have found themselves in conflict zones in the South Caucasus, Moldova or Southeastern Europe, to their fate. We have a shared responsibility to build trust, resolve differences and ensure the security, territorial integrity and sovereignty of all states," the Lithuanian leader said.

Reflecting on another fundamental OSCE principle, indivisible security, President Adamkus underlined that until there were countries in Europe where the freedom of the word, thought or choice was restricted, we would never be fully independent or secure.

 

The President said, "We must promote mutual cooperation between Central Asian countries, increasing stability and security in the region. We have to support these countries and societies in their effort to build modern nations on the foundations of social wellbeing and respect for individual rights and freedoms. The people of Afghanistan, too, expect us to continue helping them create a secure and peaceful country."

The President underlined that if we wanted to translate the common vision of the fifty-six participating states - the vision of a Europe whole, free and at peace - into reality, we must further exploit our achievements and security structures.

"We must overcome mistrust and understand that all of us are partners seeking the same ultimate goals, not rivals over influence. Our unity, trust, determination to act, and open respect for values and international commitments are the guiding principles on the path to a more secure world," the President said.

 

Press Service of the President

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