Welcoming address of the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr Linas Linkevicius at the conference „Towards a European Roadmap of LGBT equality“

31 July 2013, Last updated at, 11:28 EEST
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author: RIA Novosti/Scanpix

Dear participants, organisers,
Ministers, ambassadors,

Let me start with underlining the importance of every single effort to advance human rights in Lithuania and Europe. It is duty of every country towards its citizens. It is the path we took by joining the family of European democracies. And Lithuania, together with other EU countries, aims jointly to create conditions for all citizens to enjoy equal rights.

The Lithuanian presidency of the EU Council enables and enforces us to look wider, deeper and to work harder. Bringing all EU members to reach solutions that are most needed for our people. At the same time, 2013 is the European year of Citizens. Directing us to engage citizens not only to speak up, but to take part in finding solutions.

That is why the Ministry of Foreign Affairs supports this event. We believe in the importance of a healthy dialogue and more equal society. United in diversity. That is what European Union stands for. That is a key to strong society.

As a long-year diplomat I know that dialogue is a long process, but it also leads to best results. We can put laws and institutions in place, but we make them work only by making people believe that it is what is best for them and the society. In case of equality, by making obvious that we all win if everyone gets an equal opportunity. I am sure that all of us want not more of different rules, but different reality.

Lithuania has come a long way making our democracy work. We do have to advance much further. It is not easy. It is not simple. But we should not give in the temptation to speed things up. We all know what happens to a car that is put on a higher gear before it’s ready. It can simply stop.

So my plea today is not to stop. To keep the dialogue, to engage everyone building a more tolerant and equal society.

Thank you.
 

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