Development Cooperation Conference - 20 years of partnerships for progress and the way forward

On the 24 November, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosted the Lithuanian Development Cooperation Conference to mark the 20 years of activities, review key achievements and prepare for the future challenges - Ukraine's reconstruction, digital and green transformation, new partnerships.

"I can confidently say that 20 years ago the international support for Lithuania's development made us reliable partners in the EU and NATO community. It has also helped to transform Lithuania into a hub of democracy promotion and support. Our history and experience prove that the desire for freedom and solidarity can help overcome even the greatest challenges. So let us continue the work we have started and let us be strong together," said Gabrielius Landsbergis, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, in his welcoming speech.

European Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, also congratulated Lithuanian development community highlighting Lithuania's contribution to the public sector reforms, principles of good governance and the rule of law, digitalisation, renewable energy and other areas in partner countries.

Warm greeting speeches were delivered by the Secretary General of UNCTAD Rebeca Grynspan Mayufis and the Deputy Minister for Infrastructure Reconstruction of Ukraine Oleksandra Azarkhina.

The distinguished guests - State Secretary of Moldova Stela Leucă, Member of the European Parliament Rasa Juknevičienė, Chairman of the Seimas Committee on Foreign Affairs Žygimantas Pavilionis, Director of Development Cooperation at the OECD María del Pilar Garrido Gonzalo and other representatives of the European Commission and Lithuanian institutions – shared their insights on how Lithuania can use its experience to further strengthen and develop partnerships and become a more active part of the development cooperation community.

Referring to Inga Stanytė-Toločkienė, the Political Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, “our short but intense experience of transformation self-development has made us realise that economic and sustainable development can only succeed in a democratic, transparent, and fair rules-based environment. Therefore, it should not come as a surprise that efforts to promote democracy, such as support to activists of the Rose and Orange Revolutions, or the civil society of Belarus in the form of ‘BeTogether’ actions, have been at the very origins of what today is proudly called Lithuania’s development cooperation policy.”

Now, through development assistance, Lithuania seeks to make a tangible impact by strengthening partner countries' institutions, the resilience of civil society to hybrid threats, environmentally friendly practices, empowering women and many other areas of cooperation.

Lithuania swiftly responds to global challenges – without waiting for the war to end and being among the first to start the reconstruction of Ukraine, providing unprecedented humanitarian assistance to the Ukrainian people. With this massive support Lithuania now ranks as one of the top three largest supporters of Ukraine worldwide in terms of the percentage of its GDP.

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