COMMITTED TO AID: Kirkilas draws parallels between Lithuania and the countries it will help
Speaking at a meeting of the 2007 High-Level Segment of the Economic and Social Council in Geneva, Kirkilas said: "As an emerging donor, my country Lithuania is making her first modest but steady steps in providing assistance to developing countries. Our sense of responsibility and the living memories of our own recent reconstruction experience compel us to take a more active part in global action to support those in need. Over the past two years, Lithuania has doubled its aid budget and will continue to increase it in line with our commitment."
"My country would not be where we are today without our firm commitment to institution building, the rule of law, fight against corruption, and local ownership of the processes," he added.
Kirkilas developed the theme of drawing on Lithuania's own experience by identifying several priorities for donor countries, including an emphasis on the role of women.
"The productive and creative potential of women who make up over half of the globe's population is a tremendous asset. In Lithuania, for example, we have identified and implemented four priorities for women empowerment: women in decision making; balance between family and work; equal wages policy; and gender roles," he said.