Lithuanians in the News
28th July 2013
Ambassador Vygaudas Ušackas Meets Australian Lithuanians in Sydney
Ambassador Ušackas describes his experiences as a diplomat.
Seated is his wife Loreta Ušackienė
Vygaudas Ušackas is a distinguished Lithuanian diplomat. Since April 2010 he has held the key post of the European Union (EU) Special Representative and Head of the EU Delegation in Afghanistan. Mr. Ušackas with his wife Loreta visited Sydney July 24-28. Last Thursday, July 25, they met Sydney Lithuanians at the Sydney Lithuanian Club. Over an informal lunch Mr. Ušackas shared his experiences of over 20 years as a Lithuanian and EU diplomat.
During his outstanding diplomatic career Ambassador Ušackas has held a number of important diplomatic posts, including as Chief Negotiator for Lithuania’s Accession to the European Union (1999-2001), Lithuania’s Ambassador to the USA (2001-2006), Lithuania’s Ambassador to the UK (2006–2008) and Lithuania’s Foreign Minister (2008-2010).
Since April 2010 he has been the EU Ambassador to Afghanistan, mandated by the EU to represent, coordinate and negotiate on behalf of 27 (now 28) member states with the Afghan authorities on political, developmental and security issues. He has also been tasked to work in tandem with two other Special Representatives, namely the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General (UNSRSG) and NATO Senior Civilian Representative (SCR) and to work in close cooperation with Commander of International Security Assistance Force (COMISAF), the US and other international and regional players. From September 1, 2013, he will be talking over the challenging post of EU Ambassador to Russia.
Sydney Lithuanians were very interested to hear Mr. Ušackas speak about Afghanistan and his work as a diplomat more generally. It is very evident that Lithuania’s statesmen and diplomats are now highly regarded internationally. It is not even 20 years since Lithuanian joined the EU and we now have a Lithuanian diplomat in two of EU’s major posts – in Afghanistan and Russia. Mr. Ušackas’ personal achievement here also represents an achievement for all Lithuania. And neither must we forget that Lithuania currently holds the Presidency of the EU Council.