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Wednesday 29.01.2020 | Name days: Valērijs, Aivars
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Latvia’s President: the UN should evolve with the times to avoid losing influence

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President of Latvia Egils Levits

In order to tackle topical problems, the United Nations (UN) should evolve with the times, said Latvia’s President Egils Levits in his speech addressed to participants of the UN General Assembly in New York.

Both at the beginning and the end of his speech, he recounted important events in the history of Latvia and Baltics as a whole. He also stressed how important it is to use the opportunities provided by multilateralism.

«A strong multilateral, inclusive, rules-based international order is essential for the maintenance of global peace and security. It must be our joint responsibility to defend and strengthen it. The United Nations is and must remain the central forum for multilateralism and a rules-based global order,» said Latvia’s president in the first half of his speech.

According to him, experience shows the most efficient way to accomplish goals is to work in a multi-sided format, stressing that Latvia, too, should use all opportunities to make the world fairer and more peaceful. Order based on multi-lateral cooperation prevents non-compliance with goals and principles outlined in UN Statutes by countries that are members of the UN in relation to territorial integrity and sovereignty, said Levits. In this context he reminded that Russia still breaches principles of international law by continuing to ignore both Ukraine’s and Georgia’s territorial integrity.

«This open disrespect of international law must not be allowed to become a norm,» Levits stressed.

«Latvia’s experience shows that rule of law, like democracy and respect for human rights, is an important catalyst for the successful development of a state.»

«Latvia is prepared to actively participate in reinforcement of these principles in international law,» said Latvia’s president.

At the end of his speech, Levits also reminded those present about the Baltic Way and Latvia’s accomplishments in the past 30 years. «My country and my people have experienced impressive change over the past 30 years. I believe that the UN, too, can adapt to resolve the global challenges of today,» said the president.

He urged the UN to use the time left until the 75th birthday to make the organisation’s work more purposeful and valued.

He said the principles outlined in the UN Statutes are as topical now as they were 74 years ago. «I am happy to see Latvia free to live in accordance with these principles on its land and have the responsibility to defend them in the world,» Levits concluded his speech to the UN General Assembly.


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