Warning that competition for energy resources is a major source of conflict, Lithuania’s President Dalia Grybauskaite today called on the United Nations to outlaw the use of energy to gain political goals.
“We need to make existing inequalities in access to energy a source of cooperation, not tensions,” President Grybauskaite told the 67th General Assembly on the first day of the annual General Debate.
Noting the need to increase global energy sustainability, Ms. Grybauskaite hailed Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Sustainable Energy for All initiative, which aims to provide universal energy access, double the rate of global energy efficiency improvement, and double the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.
“The use of energy dependency as an instrument for political or economic blackmail must be eliminated,” she stressed, calling for international agreements stipulating that the use of energy to gain political goals is unacceptable.
“Responsibility for violations should be also clear and unavoidable,” the Lithuanian leader added. “We have to grant international institutions greater discretion to launch probes and impose sanctions on activities that hinder the free flow of energy resources, impede diversification or set unfair prices for customers.”
President Grybauskaite also highlighted the need for nuclear safety, without which she said there could be no sustainability, development or peaceful cooperation, and called for nuclear safety standards to be strengthened, with international obligations adopted if needed.
Scores of the world’s heads of State and government and other high-level officials are expected to present their views and comment on issues of individual national and international relevance at the Assembly’s General Debate, which ends on 1 October.