Lithuania contributes to the Colombian sports diplomacy initiative
On 7 June, Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius accepted a girls' basketball team from Colombia visiting Lithuania. The basketball players have been staying in Lithuania for two weeks, since they participate in the sports diplomacy initiative carried out by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Colombia, to which Lithuania also contributes.
The sports diplomacy initiative is dedicated to the integration of children and adolescents affected by the armed conflict in Colombia and their prevention from being involved in organised crime groups that are still prevalent in the remote areas of Colombia. With the help of various sports, it is aimed to promote the intercultural dialogue, social inclusion, healthy lifestyles and expand the horizons. For this purpose international exchanges and camps are organised. There have already been more than 100 exchanges in more than 42 countries involving over 1600 children and adolescents.
Lithuania supports the implementation of the peace agreement signed in 2016 between the Colombian Government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Last year, Lithuania allocated 12,000 euros via the European Union Trust Fund for Colombia. The primary goal of this fund is to quickly and effectively overcome the effects of the conflict in Colombia and restore the socio-economic potential of the country, with a focus on the reconstruction of rural areas.