During the visit to Lithuania, Ms Arancha González Laya, Minister for Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation of the Kingdom of Spain, will also visit Vilnius University (VU). According to the visit scheduled for 7 April, the politician will visit the VU Life Sciences Centre (LSC), meet with Prof. Rimvydas Petrauskas and take part in a virtual discussion with students on women’s leadership in foreign policy.
At VU LSC, Ms González Laya will meet with the director of the centre Prof. Gintaras Valinčius who will tell her about the history of the centre, which has many examples of research cooperation with Spain. The minister will also be shown the laboratories named after Dr Linas Mažutis and Dr Aurelijus Burokas, who worked in Spain for a number of years.
Together with the rector of the university, Prof. Rimvydas Petrauskas and the pro-rector for partnerships Dr Artūras Vasiliauskas, the minister will visit the central building of the university and the Church of St. Johns. The rector emphasises that the relationship between Lithuania and Spain is both old and strong. From the late 16th century to the middle 17th century, Vilnius University was headed by three rectors of Spanish origin: Garcia Alabiano (1584–1592; a Jesuit rector who was the longest serving VU rector), Miguel Ortiz (1605–1608) and Benito de Sojo (1643–1646). Today the close relationship is maintained through the achievement of common goals of the Arqus European Universities Alliance which brings together seven European Universities. The University of Granada as well as Vilnius University are members of this alliance.
In the afternoon, from 3:40 to 4:25, Ms González Laya will take part in a remote discussion with VU students and Prof. Dovilė Jakniūnaitė (Institute of International Relations and Political Science (IIRPS) of Vilnius University) will moderate the discussion. The minister will discuss the subject of women’s leadership in foreign policy, a subject which is very close to her field of interest. You can participate in the discussion and pose questions to Arancha González Laya, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Spain on the website www.slido.com by entering the keyword #WomensLeadership. Live streaming of the discussion in English will be available on VU accounts in Youtube and Facebook.
Arancha González Laya is an expert in international relations and trade with more than 20 years of professional experience. She was appointed as the Minister for Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation of the Kingdom of Spain on 13 January 2020. Ms González Laya has focused intensively on sustainability and on women’s role in society. In 2015, she set up an initiative “SheTrades” whose purpose is to connect three million women entrepreneurs by the year 2021. In addition, Ms González Laya and 28 other female leaders from all over the world have collected and published a compilation of essays titled Women Shaping Global Economic Governance. At the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference Ms González Laya was one of the initiators of the Buenos Aires Declaration which has the purpose to promote women’s economic empowerment in the world. She was also the initiator of the first event of the “Trade for Sustainable Development Forum”. The conference focused on the problems of green trade and sought for solutions to the challenges posed by climate change.