During 2011 Lithuania will become a key player in international diplomacy, when it takes up the very important role of chairing the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe
(OSCE), the first country among the Baltic States to hold this post. The election of Lithuania to chair OSCE is clear recognition that Lithuania, just twenty years after re-establishing
its independence, is highly regarded internationally. OSCE had its roots in Helsinki in 1973 when its forerunner, the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe (CSCE), came
into being. After the collapse of the Soviet Union the name CSCE was changed to OSCE, to reflect its new role. OSCE now encompasses 56 countries and Australia is a Partner for
President Grybauskaitė addresses the OSCE Summit.
Photo courtesy lrp.lt
An OSCE Summit was held in Astana, Kazakhstan, December 1-2 2010. In closing the Summit, Lithuanias President Grybauskaitė outlined the priorities that Lithuania will follow when
it takes up the OSCE chairmanship next year. These will include solution of frozen conflicts, development of democracy, energy security and development of nuclear energy in Central
and Eastern Europe.
Another significant role for Lithuania at the present time is its chairmanship of the Community of Democracies, which comprises over 100 countries. In connection with the Communities of
Democracies Ministerial Meeting in Vilnius 30 June - 1 July 2011, President Dalia Grybauskaitė will host a Forum of Women World Leaders. Further down the track in the second half of
2013, it will be the job of Lithuania to co-ordinate the work of the European Union, when it takes up the EU presidency July-December 2013.
President Dalia Grybauskaitė at OSCE Summit in discussion with
Americas Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Photo courtesy lrp.lt
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