Lithuania has been elected a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council for 2022–2024 during a vote held at the UN General Assembly in New York, Lithuania's Foreign Ministry reported on Thursday.
Lithuania received 178 votes from UN member states, the ministry said.
Up until now, Lithuania has been an observer of the UN Human Rights Council and will become its full member for three years as of January 1, 2022.
Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda said it will be a great opportunity for the country to demonstrate its leadership.
"The UN Human Rights Council inspires us to defend human rights, identify sensitive areas and look for solutions. Lithuania stands ready to use its international experience in the area of human rights and join the UN Human Rights Council community as a full member," he said.
According to the Foreign Ministry, Lithuania's priorities during its membership period will include a special focus on the protection of children and people with disabilities, the security of activists, human rights in conflict zones and a timely response to human rights violations.
Moreover, Lithuania will continue to defend the rights of women and girls, the freedom of speech, the freedom of peaceful assembly and association, the freedom of religion and belief, and to ensure the protection of journalists.
Established by the UN General Assembly in 2006, the Human Rights Council has 47 member states.