According to the ministry, Ambassador Andrius Krivas, permanent representative of Lithuania to the United Nations Office and other International Organizations in Geneva, spoke during the Council's 45th session in Geneva.

"A free civil society, unrestricted by intimidation and persecution, is one of the key elements of a free and democratic society," Krivas was quoted as saying in a statement issued by the ministry.

"The Nordic and Baltic countries are concerned over the UN secretary general's reports on the aforementioned persecution and retaliation cases, especially of women and persons working in the area of women's rights and gender equality, and is calling on all countries and non-state actors to ensure a safe and enabling space for civil society to act," he said.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Nordic and Baltic countries also underlined that retaliation cases are unacceptable and undermine the United Nation's reliable and effective work and need to be immediately investigated.

The 45th session of the Human Rights Council started on September 14 and is scheduled to last until October 7.

The goal of the Geneva-based Human Rights Council is to promote universal respect for human rights and freedoms, react to the most urgent human rights violations and provide recommendations.

Lithuania has presented its candidacy to the Human Rights Council for the term 2022-2024 and currently takes part in the work of the HRC as an observer.