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EACEA National Policies Platform: Youthwiki
Lithuania

Lithuania

9. Youth and the World

9.6 Intercontinental youth work and development cooperation

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  1. Intercontinental youth work cooperation
  2. Development cooperation activities

Intercontinental youth work cooperation

Youth Career & Advising Center (YCAC) conducted a research “The Attitudes of Youth Organizations towards Global Issues and Global Learning in Lithuania”. The research aimed to explore the attitudes of youth organizations in Lithuania towards the global development issues and the role of youth organizations in coping with them. The research was also dedicated to explore the motivation, willingness and preparation of youth organisations to implement global learning and awareness raising activities for youth.

The research results helped YCAC to get a better understanding on perceptions and attitudes of youth organisations in Lithuania towards the global development issues, globalization and global connections between people, cultures and countries. The results also allowed identifying the learning needs of the youth organisations related with global learning and awareness raising applicable to youth work.

The research “The Attitudes of Youth Organizations towards Global Issues and Global Learning in Lithuania” was conducted in the frame of the project “Youth of the World! Mainstreaming Global Awareness In youth Work“, supported by the European Commission. The project is being implemented in 7 countries: Bulgaria, Lithuania, Estonia, Cyprus, Austria, Scotland and Ghana.

Read the full summary report here

 

Development cooperation activities

Lithuania’s Democracy Promotion and Development Cooperation programme is used to foster exchange between young people and policy-makers on issues of global relevance. In Lithuania, the Democracy Promotion and Development Cooperation programme (implemented by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) provides funding for development cooperation projects which are implemented in cooperation with other governmental and non-governmental institutions in Lithuania and partner countries.

Lithuanian Law on Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid was adopted in 2013. This law determined the goals of the Lithuanian development cooperation policy, formation, implementation, coordination and financing of the Lithuanian development cooperation, and ways of providing humanitarian aid.  In 2016, the new edition of the law was adopted. This edition introduced important changes: strengthening the role of the Ministry of the Foreign Affairs in coordination of the Lithuania development cooperation, expanding the number of institutions participating in the development cooperation, gathering the administration of development cooperation projects in a single agency, etc.

In September 2016 Lithuanian Government approved National Interinstitutional Development Cooperation Action Plan for the period 2017–2019. This Plan lays down development cooperation policy guidelines for 2017-2019 and sets out concrete measures in order to contribute to the achievement of the sustainable development goals set by the UN 2030 Agenda within the aid recipient countries. The Plan is based on the Lithuanian Law on Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid, Lithuania’s foreign policy priorities, taking into account relevant strategic documents of the UN and EU, and international commitments. The Plan will help to ensure continuous and efficient implementation and coordination of the development cooperation activities and to enhance Lithuania’s role as a reliable and responsible donor country in the international community.

Lithuania’s development cooperation policy is an integral part of Lithuania’s foreign policy aimed at these objectives:

  1. Contribute to the global efforts to reduce poverty in developing countries, as well as to implementation of other Sustainable Development Goals declared by the United Nations;
  2. Contribute to elaboration of sustainable development, democracy, security and stability in partner countries;
  3. Contribute to elaboration of human rights and gender equality in partner countries;
  4. Strengthen political, economic, social and cultural relations with developing countries;
  5. Inform and raise awareness of Lithuanian society on UN’s, EU’s and Lithuanian development policies, their goals, challenges, achieved results, and to seek greater public approval and support for development cooperation.

Implementing the European Union’s development cooperation policy, Lithuanian representatives participate in the activities of the European Union Council Working Parties on Development Cooperation (CODEV), the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, and Humanitarian Aid and Food Aid (COHAFA, cooperate with the European Commission’s Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO), Directorate General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection. By participating in the European Development Fund and the Development Cooperation Instrument Committees, Lithuania, together with other EU Member States, adopts decisions on the implementation of the EU’s development policy.

Inter-institutional Action Plan on Development Cooperation approved by the Government Resolution on 21 September 2016 sets Lithuanian development cooperation policy guidelines for the period 2017- 2019 as well as implementing measures. The Plan foresees geographical and sectorial Development Cooperation priorities. Sectorial  priorities are related to the Lithuania’s efforts to contribute to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in partner countries, i.e. Lithuania will seek to contribute to the achievement of all of SDGs, however particular focus will be given to:

  1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere (SDG 1);
  2. Ensure quality education (SDG 4);
  3. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls (SDG 5);
  4. Take urgent action to combat climate change (SDG 13);
  5. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels (SDG 16);
  6. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development (SDG 17).

The priority geographical areas of Lithuania’s development cooperation are the region of Eastern Europe as well as countries of migration origin and transit. Considering the needs of developing countries and its own foreign policy priorities and financial capabilities, Lithuania shall also provide assistance to other countries that are included in the list of aid recipients of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Particular attention is paid to development cooperation activities with Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine. Since the EU Association Agreements were signed with Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia on 27 June 2014, the relevance of assistance that helps implement these Agreements increased, therefore Lithuanian experts provide consultations and technical assistance for the purpose of properly implementing these Agreements.

Implementing its international commitments and seeking to ensure visibility of Lithuania’s development cooperation policy within the international arena, Lithuania provides multilateral development assistance through obligatory and voluntary contributions and payments to the funds and international organisations carrying out or coordinating development cooperation activities. Taking into consideration the needs, foreign policy priorities of developing countries and its own financial capacities, Lithuania provides assistance to other states included into the list of ODA recipients of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Thus, Lithuania reinforces its role in the United Nations, the European Council, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the World Trade Organisation, and other international organisations and strengthens its political, economic and cultural relations with various countries.

The Department of Development Cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is responsible for the implementation and coordination of Lithuanian development cooperation policy.

Information on the submission of applications for development cooperation projects, selection procedures, implementation and information for providers as well as any other project-related information is available in:

1) Description of Procedure for the Implementation of Development Cooperation Activities and Provision of Humanitarian Assistance by State and Municipal Institutions and Agencies, approved by Lithuanian Government Resolution No 129 of the 22nd February 2017;

2) Description of Procedure of the Implementation of the Development Cooperation and Democracy Promotion Programme, established by Order No. V-63 of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania on 21st March 2017 (Valid summary from Sep 14, 2017).

Example of good practice: Youth projects carried out in Belarus

Based on theLaw on Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid projects carried out in Belarus in 2013 contributed to the raising the activity and empowerment of various social groups, promotion of youth initiatives and cooperation, bridging the social divide, protection and promotion of common historical and cultural heritage as well as institutional capacity building. In 2013, over 300 young people, including the youngest one aged just two, took part in civil society building and youth initiatives. One of such initiatives was the seventh congress of Belarusians studying in Belarus and other European countries. The congress saw the creation of the network of Global Belarus Leaders uniting young Belarusian professionals. The youth is also supported through the European Humanities University (EHU) established in Lithuania which continues the traditions of the Belarusian academic society and trains a new generation of Belarusian youth which upholds democratic values. It is the only university operating in exile and enabling its students and teachers to use the Belarusian language in their academic and daily lives. In 2013, 191 graduates of bachelor studies and 53 graduates of master studies graduated from the EHU. Most graduates of the university see their future in Belarus. Lithuania supports the EHU together with the European Commission, Nordic Council of Ministers, United States of America, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Poland and other countries. Projects aimed at reducing the divide between social groups and promoting tolerance have taken place in Belarus for several years lately. In 2013, 480 project participants, including the disabled, their parents and teachers as well as representatives of Belarusian non-governmental organisations specialising in these areas, were trained. Lithuania’s projects in culture, education and science implemented in 2013 were aimed at strengthening cooperation between the representatives of both states. These projects attracted over 700 participants. The public was highly interested in the studies of synagogues which are part of the cultural and religious heritage of Belarusian Litvaks. The historians of both countries jointly published a book on the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Cossacks, publications promoting the cultural, historical and musical heritage of Duke Mykolas Kleopas Oginskis. A congress of Belarusian researchers “Belarus: The Northern Dimension” took place.

Example of good practice: Youth projects carried out in Palestine and Tunisia

Based on the Law on Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid in 2013, Lithuania implemented one project in Palestine and one in Tunisia in 2013. At the political school in Tunisia, experts from Lithuania and other countries shared their theoretical and practical knowledge of justice during the transitional period, presented the development and strengthening of the democratic political system and civil society to their Tunisian colleagues. In total, training sessions were attended by 25 Tunisian politicians. Lithuania supports the strengthening of public spirit skills of Palestine youth and encourages young Palestinians to play a more active role in their country’s life building a democratic and knowledge-based society. Using non-formal education techniques, specialists from Lithuania hosted training at the Palestinian boys school Arab Institute (24 boys), Al Quds University (18 students), non-governmental organisation Vision Alliance for Arts and Culture (17 participants). The training included the presentation of ideas for projects relevant to the youth and community (and the best ones were put into practice), preparation of their descriptions and planning for actions to help implement these projects. At the end of the visit, specialists from Lithuania took part in the collection of olives together with partners and trained youth groups, which served as a practical example public spirit building through non-formal education.