Monday, August 1, 2016

Ambassador McCarthy Finished Her Term of Office in Lithuania

On July 27th, 2016, U.S. Ambassador to Lithuania Deborah McCarthy finished her term of office in Lithuania. 

 You can follow Ambassador McCarthy on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AMB_DMcCarthy

Friday, April 22, 2016

No Turning Back in the Global Fight against Climate Change - Pasaulinėje kovoje su klimato kaita kelio atgal nebėra

As people around the globe observe Earth Day today, world leaders are making history at the United Nations in New York. 

More than 100 countries, including Lithuania -- which will be represented by President Grybauskaite (@Grybauskaite_LT) -- will sign the Paris Agreement on climate change hammered out during COP-21 in December, representing their commitment to join it formally.  This marks a turning point in the story of our planet and may set a record for the largest number of signers to an international agreement in a single day.  Moreover, last month, President Obama (@POTUS) announced with China’s President Xi Jinping that our two countries will sign the Paris Agreement today and formally join this year.  We are confident other countries will do so the same, with the intention of bringing this historic and ambitious agreement into effect as quickly as possible.




World leaders gathering at #COP21 in Paris on December, credit: Associated Press







A greener future is already in sight.  Leaders of countries and cities are adapting and innovating away from fossil fuels and business owners are investing in a clean energy economy.  The United States is moving toward its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions so that they are 26 percent to 28 percent below 2005 levels by the year 2025.  We are doing this through the strongest fuel economy standards in our history: our 20-fold increase in solar generation since 2009 and proposed rules on everything from energy conservation standards for appliances to reducing emissions of methane-rich gas from municipal solid waste landfills.

The United States is also focused on international cooperation to address this global challenge.  Our $500 million contribution last month to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) – representing the first tranche of our $3 billion pledge to the fund – will help developing countries reduce carbon emissions and prepare for climate effects, while also advancing our commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals – another major landmark agreement the world came together to support last year. 

Lithuania, too, has committed to make serious environmental changes.  After COP-21, Lithuania resolved to prepare a Climate Action Plan by 2019 that covers investment in energy infrastructure, energy resources development, emissions reduction, use of renewable energy sources, energy efficiency, and research.  In  the following year, the Ministry of Environment plans to present Parliament an updated National Climate Change Management Policy Strategy, setting mandatory GHG emission reduction goals and tasks for all economy sectors.

Meanwhile, at our Embassy, we take small steps daily to preserve our environment, from recycling to applying for National Wildlife Federation “Garden for Wildlife” status for my residence, where last year we kept a beehive to underscore the importance of preserving pollinators. That effort is paying dividends and we’re still enjoying the rich, sweet honey.






Beehive at Ambassador’s residence, painted by Vilnius schoolchildren







This Earth Day – with the signing of the Paris Agreement – is truly a cause for hope.  It is also a reminder of our shared commitment to combat climate change.  We must all seize upon the momentum from Paris to build a clean energy future for ourselves, and our children and grandchildren.


***


Šiandien minint Pasaulinę žemės dieną, Jungtinių Tautų būstinėje Niujorke susirinkę pasaulio lyderiai ruošiasi istorinės reikšmės įvykiui. 

Daugiau nei 100 šalių, tarp jų ir Prezidentės Dalios Grybauskaitės  (@Grybauskaite_LT)   atstovaujama Lietuva, pasirašys vadinamąjį Paryžiaus susitarimą  dėl klimato kaitos. Susitarimui buvo formaliai pritarta 21-oje Jungtinių Tautų bendrosios klimato kaitos konvencijos Šalių konferencijoje gruodžio mėnesį. Šis tarptautinis susitarimas, kurį per vieną dieną turėtų pasirašyti rekordiškai didelis šalių skaičius, pažymi svarbų pokytį mūsų planetos istorijoje. Prieš mėnesį JAV (@POTUS) ir Kinijos prezidentai pateikė bendrą pareiškimą dėl ketinimo pasirašyti bei dar šiais metais formaliai prisijungti prie Paryžiaus susitarimo. Neabejojame, jog kitos šalys paseks jų pavyzdžiu ir sieks kuo skubesnio šio istorinio, ambicingo susitarimo įsigaliojimo.




Pasaulio lyderių susitikimas 21-oje Šalių konferencijoje Paryžiuje gruodžio mėn.

Associated Press nuotrauka





Ekologiškesnė ateitis jau nebe už kalnų. Šalių bei miestų vadovybės nuo iškastinio kuro pereina prie inovatyvių sprendimų, verslininkai pradeda investuoti į švarią energiją. JAV artėja prie savo įsipareigojimo įgyvendinimo nuo 2005 iki 2025 m. sumažinti šiltnamio efektą sukeliančių dujų emisijas 26-28 proc. To siekiame taikydami griežčiausius per visą šalies istoriją kuro standartus: saulės energijos gamyba nuo 2009 m. išaugo 20 kartų, be to pritaikėme visa apimančias taisykles  – nuo energijos taupymo standartų įrengimuose iki metano turinčių dujų emisijų sumažinimo miestų kietųjų atliekų sąvartynuose.

Spręsdama šią globalią problemą JAV siekia bendradarbiauti ir su kitomis valstybėmis. Praeitą mėnesį paaukojome 500 mln. JAV dolerių į Žaliojo klimato fondą, – tai pirmasis indėlis iš mūsų žadėtos 3 milijardų JAV dolerių sumos, – kuris turėtų padėti besivystančioms šalims sumažinti anglies dvideginio emisijas bei pasirengti klimato pokyčiams. Taip mes parodome ir savo įsipareigojimą siekti Darnaus vystymosi tikslų – tai dar vienas reikšmingas susitarimas, kuriam pritarimą šalys išreiškė praeitais metais. 

Įsipareigojimą siekti reikšmingų pokyčių sprendžiant klimato kaitos problemą išreiškė ir Lietuva. Po 21-os Šalių konferencijos ji pasiryžo iki 2019 m. parengti Klimato veiksmų planą, kuris apimtų investicijas į energetikos infrastruktūrą, energijos išteklių vystymą, emisijų mažinimą, atsinaujinančių energijos šaltinių panaudojimą, energijos našumą bei tyrimus. Per ateinančius metus Aplinkos ministerija ketina Seimui pristatyti atnaujintą Nacionalinę klimato kaitos valdymo politikos strategiją, kurioje būtų išvardyti privalomi šiltnamio efektą sukeliančių dujų emisijas mažinantys tikslai bei užduotys visiems ūkio sektoriams.

Tuo tarpu mes, dirbantys JAV ambasadoje, darome kasdienius nedidelius žingsnius mūsų gamtai apsaugoti: nuo atliekų rūšiavimo iki paraiškos pateikimo JAV Nacionalinei laukinės gamtos federacijai dėl „Laukinės gamtos sodo“ statuso suteikimo JAV ambasadorės rezidencijai. Praeitais metais rezidencijos sode įkurdinome avilį, tuo pabrėždami, kaip yra svarbu išsaugoti augalų apdulkintojus. Mūsų pastangos atsipirko su kaupu – iki šiol džiaugiamės skaniu, saldžiu medumi.





Ambasadorės rezidencijoje stovintis avilys, papuoštas mokinių iš Vilniaus piešiniais




Šiemet Žemės diena dėl pasirašomo Paryžiaus susitarimo teikia tikrai daug vilčių. Be to, ši diena visiems mums primena, jog privalome kartu kovoti su klimato kaita. Tad, paskatinti Paryžiaus susitarimo, pradėkime kurti švarios energijos ateitį sau patiems, savo vaikams bei vaikaičiams.



Friday, December 18, 2015

Protecting Cyberspace: A Look at the White House’s Role - Kibernetinės erdvės apsauga: Baltųjų rūmų vaidmens apžvalga

Who Does What in the United States? – Third in a Series

In the United States, many different groups work together to protect America’s cyberspace.  My second entry focused on what the Department of Homeland Security (@DHSgov) is doing to protect America’s cyber networks.  This one, the third in our series, will focus on the leadership role of the White House (@WhiteHouse).


President Obama (@POTUS) has made ensuring a secure cyberspace one of his most critical agenda items, because he believes it is a matter of public safety and national security. Through the President’s leadership, the White House has directed the government to implement policies to improve our cyber defenses, partner with the private sector, enhance response capabilities, and upgrade incident management tools.

The Obama Administration has identified five priorities related to cyber security:

Protecting Critical Infrastructure: The President’s  Executive Order (E.O.) 13636 on Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity calls for: (1) regular updates on the identification of  critical infrastructure; (2) mechanisms to share threat information and warnings with the private sector while respecting rights of privacy; and 3) a Cybersecurity Framework of voluntary standards to identify, address and manage cyber risks.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

International Anticorruption Day: Lithuania Makes Strides toward OECD - Skirta Tarptautinei kovos su korupcija dienai paminėti: Lietuvos žingsniai siekiant narystės EBPO

As the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) reviews Lithuania’s application for membership, its committees will give close scrutiny to anticorruption laws, preventive measures, procurement systems and state-owned enterprise governance. As a supporter of Lithuania’s membership in the OECD (@OECD), the U.S. stands ready to work with Lithuania as it goes through this process, sharing our experience and best practices.

Corruption, after all, harms the citizens of all nations in varying degrees. All governments and their citizens, therefore, must remain vigilant to detect, punish, and deter corruption.

Today marks a significant day in these efforts. On December 9, 2003, representatives from 140 countries signed the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) and designated December 9 as International Anticorruption Day. Today, 180 countries have joined the UNCAC, including Lithuania and the United States, making it one of the UN’s most highly subscribed treaties, creating a global mandate to combat corruption and the harm it brings to society.


Friday, October 16, 2015

Protecting Cyberspace: A Look at the Department of Homeland Security’s Role - Kibernetinės erdvės apsauga ­­­­­­­­­­– Vidaus reikalų departamento vaidmuo

A Look at the Department of Homeland Security’s Role - The Second in a Series
 
In the United States, many different groups work together to protect America’s cyberspace.  As we seek to deepen our partnership with Lithuania on our common cyber challenges, it is important to understand the U.S cyber architecture.

My last entry focused on the Department of Defense (@DeptofDefense) US Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) and the protection of defense networks.  This one, the second in our series, outlines the role of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in protecting civilian government networks, which are part of our critical infrastructure.

Established following the 9/11 attacks, the Department of Homeland Security is very large: 22 divisions with almost a quarter of a million employees.  Cybersecurity is one of those divisions. In this area of responsibility, DHS (@DHSgov) is charged with protecting civilian government networks (the ".gov" domain) and fighting crime perpetrated on the internet. In doing so, it partners increasingly with the private sector, though there are legal obstacles to this that need to be addressed through new legislation.

So, how does DHS do this? 1)  It runs the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC), which provides cyber monitoring, incident response, and shares information with both the public and private sectors.  Thirteen government agencies and 16 private sector entities have personnel dedicated to working with the NCCIC.  The NCCIC manages the EINSTEIN system, which provides layers of protection to the government system; the newest version has the capacity to identify and block malicious traffic.  DHS hosts the US Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) (@USCERT_gov), which  provides intrusion detection and prevention capabilities, working with owners of critical infrastructure and with international and private sector CERTS, including that of Lithuania;  2) It fights cyber criminals, who are using the internet for bank and financial fraud, intellectual property violations and child pornography.


Sunday, October 4, 2015

Protecting Cyberspace: A Look at USCYBERCOM - Kibernetinės erdvės apsauga: USCYBERCOM apžvalga


 Who Does What in the United States? - The First in a Series

On the theme of protecting cyberspace - October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month.


As close partners, the United States and Lithuania share many common challenges: one of these is the protection of cyberspace.  As attacks proliferate, it is important to have a clear picture of who does what in the United States in order to determine better how both our countries can work together going forward.  In the United States, many different groups work together to protect America’s cyberspace.  This blog entry, the first in a series examining some of the actors involved in securing America’s cyberspace, will focus on the unique role US CYBER COMMAND (USCYBERCOM) plays in ensuring a safe and reliable cyber environment.

Recognizing the critical and increasing importance of cyber to modern warfare as well as the exponentially increasing threat of cyber attacks against the United States, the Secretary of Defense directed the establishment of United States Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) in June 2009.  It is subordinate to U.S. Strategic Command and is led by Admiral Michael S. Rogers, who is also the director of the National Security Agency.



Guided by the new Department of Defense (@DeptofDefense) Cyber Strategy issued by Secretary of Defense Carter in April of this year, USCYBERCOM has three main missions:  1) to defend the Department of Defense information networks; 2) to be prepared to respond to help defend the US in case of attacks of significant consequence in cyberspace; and 3) to develop capabilities which give U.S. policymakers a greater range of options.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

American Diplomacy Across #Lithuania

A key part of American Diplomacy is outreach.  Gone are the days when formal interaction with governments made up the bulk of our contact work.  Today, we must and do speak with students, associations, NGOs, civic groups, businesses, entrepreneurs and leading thinkers.

At U.S. Embassy Vilnius (@USEmbVilnius), we often travel outside of #Vilnius. Public Affairs Officer, Rima Vydmantas, a Lithuanian-American, visited Radviliškis in November. She spoke about the possibility of studying in the United States, the State Department’s educational exchange programs, volunteerism, and the importance of staying in school with 100 students at Lizdeika Gymnasium. She donated English-language books and posters of American scenery to the city’s public library.