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Ceturtdiena 17.08.2017 | Name days: Oļegs, Vineta

Berzins: austerity measures helped Latvia exit crisis

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUDuring his address at the 66th session of the United National General Assembly, the President of Latvia Andris Berzins, pointed out that Latvia was among the countries that were most rapidly and severely stricken by the economic crisis. However, the Latvian economic recovery is linked to a very basic lesson – swift and decisive action when it comes to austerity measures.

Currently, we are one of the countries reporting noticeable recovery. Our GDP is growing again, while unemployment is reducing, Berzins said. As other lessons, he mentioned the need to communicate with the society on carrying out structural reforms, involving the population in the particular task. The President added that international solidarity plays a key role as well.

The economic crisis reminds us that we live in a world of global interdependence. We are very concerned about the uncertainty and volatility in the international trade and financial markets. Careful management depends on each country, yet these are circumstances in which the international community should once again cooperate, in order to find sustainable stabilization targets and prevent further global economic tightening, the President said.

He reminded that this year marks the 20th anniversary since Latvia joined the United Nations (UN) after regaining independence. In these twenty years we have undergone complete transformation – from a Soviet occupied European country with no trace on the political map, Latvia has re-emerged as a country with stable democratic institutions, a member of the UN, the EU and NATO. From a closed regulated system we have developed an open, liberal market economy. From a totalitarian regime we have grown as a democratic society where the rule of law and human rights are respected. Now we are able to share our transformation experience by helping other countries in their development, the President added.

Important changes have started in North Africa and the Middle East – often called the Arab Spring. People have gone to streets demanding democratic reforms and influence on the future development of their countries. The international community has to support these aspirations and assist in building stable, trusted democratic institutions and establishing the rule of law, he noted.

Moreover, the President welcomed the UN swift reaction to the events in Libya. Latvia has recognized the National Transitional Council of Libya and supported the decision of the General Assembly to allow it to represent Libya at this session. Joint action is crucial and Latvia hopes that the UN will continue to play its leading role in Libya with relevant regional involvement.

We support the UN Security Council presidential statement regarding the events in Syria and the Human Rights Council decision to dispatch urgently a special mission to Syria. The message is clear – violations of human rights and the use of force against civilians is totally unacceptable and strongly condemned by the international community. We look forward to an appropriate follow-up on this issue in the Security Council, he emphasized.

He underlined that currently the international community has a historic responsibility to make the Middle East a safer, more prosperous and more democratic place to live. We must support the Middle East Peace Process with an aim of two states – Israel and Palestine – to live side by side in peace and security, the President said.

Latvia strongly encourages both sides to immediately resume dialogue. Sustainable peace is possible only if the Israelis and the Palestinians reach an agreement that takes into account legitimate interests of both parties. The international community, the UN, the Middle East Quartet, the Arab League and others, should cooperate to help both sides return to the negotiation table.

The President also highlighted the responsibility to future generations for the preservation of natural environment in the world. This responsibility includes an obligation to ensure that resources available now are used in the most appropriate ways.

Joint global action is needed to address challenges induced by climate change. It is necessary to cut emissions and adapt to global warming. The UN Climate Conference in Durban will take important decisions this year. The agreement on Climate Change Action should be a reasonable compromise that is acceptable for the majority of participating parties and does not exclude any of the major economies, the President of Latvia indicated.

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