Vilnius: Tolerance, Friendship, and Human Rights

UNA-Lithuania held a multi-cultural event focused on tolerance, friendship, and human rights in Vilnius

Pictured from left to right are: historian Zilvinas Radavicius, initiator of a recent multi-cultural event in Vilnius, In cooperation with the United Nations Association of Lithuania (UNA-Lithuania), independent Lithuanian journalist Gitana Merkeliene, Irmina Szmalec, a Consul at the Polish Embassy in Vilnius, Jurate Landsbergyte, Executive Director of the United Nations Association of Lithuania (UNA-Lithuania), a member of the World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA) and Polish lady Anna Kowzan, who lives in Vilnius, Lithuania. ALL PHOTOS COURTESY OF GITANA MERKELIENE.
Pictured from left to right are: historian Zilvinas Radavicius, initiator of a recent multi-cultural event in Vilnius, In cooperation with the United Nations Association of Lithuania (UNA-Lithuania), independent Lithuanian journalist Gitana Merkeliene, Irmina Szmalec, a Consul at the Polish Embassy in Vilnius, Jurate Landsbergyte, Executive Director of the United Nations Association of Lithuania (UNA-Lithuania), a member of the World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA) and Polish lady Anna Kowzan, who lives in Vilnius, Lithuania. ALL PHOTOS COURTESY OF GITANA MERKELIENE.

The United Nations Association of Lithuania (UNA-Lithuania), a member of the Worl Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA), with over l00 UNAs around the world, held a multi-cultural event focused on human rights, tolerance, and friendship in the Old Town Technic Library in Vilnius recently.

In the article that follows, we provide details on this multi-cultural event initiated by Zilvinas Radavicius, and announce UNA-Lithuania’s tentative plans for the year 2017, which includes Earth Day on the Equinox celebrations on March 20, 2017, United Nations Day on October 24, and Human Rights Day on December 10, under the direction of Jurate Landsbergis, Executive Director of UNA-Lithuania, headquartered in Vilnius, Lithuania. Join in the celebrations!

 

Pictured from left to right is organizer of this multi-cultural event, Zilvinas Radavicius, with Irmina Srmalec, a Consul at the Polish Embassy in Vilnius, and Jurate Landsbergyte, Executive Director, UNA-Lithuania.
Pictured from left to right is organizer of this multi-cultural event, Zilvinas Radavicius, with Irmina Srmalec, a Consul at the Polish Embassy in Vilnius, and Jurate Landsbergyte, Executive Director, UNA-Lithuania.

UNA-Lithuania, under the direction of Jurate Landsbergyte, sponsored the recent event held in Vilnius which was organized by historian Zilvinas Radavicius.

The event involved the participation of many different groups, including the Jewish Menach Gymnasium, and several teachers and students. Including Marcus, a young student at a Jewish school in Vilnius, who speaks four languages fluently. Jurate Landsbergyte, in particular, was very impressed with the excellent language skills of this young student.

 

Pictured are several students and teachers, including Marcus, who participated in the multi-culltural event organized by Zilvinas Radavicius on behalf of UNA-Lithuania in Vilnius.
Pictured are several students and teachers, including Marcus, who participated in the multi-culltural event organized by Zilvinas Radavicius on behalf of UNA-Lithuania in Vilnius.

Contributing to the success of this event was the Polish Embassy in Vilnius, the French-Lithuanian Community, and Nobels Union members.  Irmina Szmalec, a Consul at the Polish Embassy in Vilnius, Edmundas Atkociuns, President of the organization LGUVO, and Jacky Clavreuil, President of a Lithuanian-French Association in Lithuania.

 

Shown here on the extreme right-hand side of this photo is Edmundas Alkociunas, President of LGUVO in Vilnius. Pictured with Mr. Alkociunas from left to right is Zilvinas Radavicus, together with Irmina Szmalec, a Consul at the Polish Embassy in Vilnius, and Independent journalist, Gitana Merkeliene.
Shown here on the extreme right-hand side of this photo is Edmundas Alkociunas, President of LGUVO in Vilnius. Pictured with Mr. Alkociunas from left to right is Zilvinas Radavicus, together with Irmina Szmalec, a Consul at the Polish Embassy in Vilnius, and Independent journalist, Gitana Merkeliene.

Gitana Merkeliene, a member of UNA-Lithuania and journalist, made a statement at this event, and emphasized the importance of tolerance between nations and peoples. In addition, she spoke about the role of education and read her creativepoetry.  Zilvinas Radaviciues translated Gitana’s remarks from Lithuanian into Polish.

In addition, this multi-cultural event, according to Gitana who speaks a few different languages , gave her an opportunity to exchange ideas and converse in French, English, Lithuanian, and Russian.

 

 Here we see Jurate Landsbergyte, Executive Director of UNA-Lithuania, and Internationally-known organist and pianist, performing at this multi-cultural event.
Here we see Jurate Landsbergyte, Executive Director of UNA-Lithuania, and Internationally-known organist and pianist, performing at this multi-cultural event.

Jurate Landsbergyte, internationally-known organist and pianist, performed the works of M.K. Oginsky,” Polonaise”, “Farewell to the Homeland”, as well as M.K. Ciurlonis (The Sea – Symphonic Poem.), the part named “The piece.) This special event attracted people of different ages and cultural backgrounds, including a young 15 year old intellectual student from the Jewish Gymnasium by the name of Marcus, who speaks four languages fluently.

 

In addition to performances by Jurate Landsbergyte, Elizabeta Orlova, well-known opera singer, and Lidija Koroliova, pianist, composer. and stage manager, performed French songs at the event.
In addition to performances by Jurate Landsbergyte, Elizabeta Orlova, well-known opera singer, and Lidija Koroliova, pianist, composer. and stage manager, performed French songs at the event.

 

Popular Russian musicians performed at this multi-cultural event in Vilnius, too.
Popular Russian musicians performed at this multi-cultural event in Vilnius, too.

 

After the program concluded, several members of the group gathered together for coffee and friendly conversation.

Shown below from left to right are Anna Kowzan, a Polish lady living in Vilnius, Jurate Landsbergyte, Executive Director, UNA-Lithuania, and internationally-known organist and pianist, Gitana Merkeliene, independent Lithuanian journalist, the talented young student Marcus, and historian Zilvinas Radavicius who organized this multi-cultural event.

Pictured from left to right are Anna Kowzan, Jurate Landsbergyte, Gitana Merkeiene, Marcus. and Zilvinas Radaviciu at this special multi-cutural event in Vilnius.
Pictured from left to right are Anna Kowzan, Jurate Landsbergyte, Gitana Merkeiene, Marcus. and Zilvinas Radaviciu at this special multi-cutural event in Vilnius.

 

VYTAUTAS LANDSBERGIS ISSUED A PROCLAMATION ON EARTH DAY IN 1992

Looking back at the proclamation issued by Vytautas Landsbergis on March 19, 1992, a Proclamation was issued by Vytautas Landsbergis as President of the Supreme Council of Lithuania on the spring equinox when night and day are equal all over the world.
The Earth flag created by John McConnell was raised over the Lithuanian Parliament Building in Vilnius At UN Headquarters in New York, this event initiated by John McConnell, the founder of Earth Day on the Equinox, and co-founder of the Earth Society Foundation, with the initial support o UN Secretary-General U Thant on March 21, 1991.

 

CELEBRATE EARTH DAY ON THE EQUINOX ON MARCH 21, 2017 IN LITHUANIA

This year the UN Peace Bell will ring at exactly 6:29 AM EDT on March 20, 2017 (EDT) New York time at UN Headquarters with simultaneous bell ringings aroundthe world. The bell is rung three times, followed by a moment of silence, meditation, or reflection. Lithuanians should plan to celebrate Earth Day on the Equinox in Kaunas and Vilnius on March 20 (Lithuanian time) during 2017.

 

LOOKING BACK AT THE FOUNDING OF UNA-LITHUANIA

In looking back at the history of UNA-Lithuania it is interesting to note that the United Nations Association of Lithuania (UNA-Lithuania) was founded in 1993, along with UNA-Latvia and UNA-Estonia, and became members of the World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA). Algis Tomas Geniusas served as President of this non-governmental organization (UNA-LITHUANIA)-headquartered in Vilnius for l7 years. UNA-Lithuana commemorated its 20th anniversary in Vilnius with Jurate Landsbergyte as Executive Director, UNA-Lithuania, and Algis Tomas Genusas as Honorary President.

 

Ann Charles
Ann Charles is UN Bureau Chief of “Baltic Review” based in New York City. She covers diplomatic activities at United Nations Headquarters in New York and the world body’s work in human rights, education, culture, the environment, and tourism, among other global concerns.

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