Levits meets with UN secretary general, says strengthening rule of law in international law is very important to Latvia

  • 2019-09-23
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - President Egils Levits had a meeting with the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Manoel de Oliveira Guterres in New York yesterday, emphasizing during the meeting that strengthening the principles of rule of law in the international law was very important to Latvia.

Levits reiterated the position of Latvia on the importance of strengthening the principles of rule of law in the international law and the need to apply sanctions against any country which violates such principles, the President's Chancery informed LETA.

Latvia recognizes the compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice and is ready to get fully involved in the international framework and strengthening of the rule of law. Such engagement would enable Latvia to defend against countries that violate their international obligations towards Latvia, said Levits.

The UN secretary general in turn thanked Latvia for supporting various UN initiatives. The meeting was strongly focused on climate change challenges. Guterres highlighted that the European Union continues to lead the global fight against climate change, while Levits confirmed that Latvia and eight other EU member states are calling for more ambitious climate policy. He also underlined that climate change needs to be tackled in a multilateral format which requires solidarity between all countries of the world, and the United Nations is the suitable format for global effort. President of Latvia also expressed his concern that not all countries share the same opinion.

Another issue discussed by Guterres and Levits was threats to democracy and fundamental rights. Guterres outlined specific UN initiatives, including its hate speech initiative, and praised Latvia’s digital and cyber security expertise. Levits assured that Latvia is ready to get actively involved in establishing of international digital regulatory framework.

In conclusion, Levits invited Guterres to visit Latvia in 2020. “Next year the UN will celebrate 75 years since its founding in 1945. Due to occupation, Baltic countries were not able to become members of the newly founded organization. Your visit on anniversary of the UN, 75 years after the end of the World War II, would be deeply symbolic,” said Levits.

On his first day of the U.S. visit, Levits also met with the UN Youth delegates from Latvia Kristiana Plate, Oto Davidovs and Keita Alaide Dicmane. Levits praised Latvian youth for its role in national and international civic activities. He complimented their dedication, expertise and commitment which requires a great sense of responsibility.

President and delegates discussed youth perspective on climate change. Youth delegates stressed that it is not enough to draw the attention of the politicians to the problem, youth must also find ways of providing meaningful input in promotion of sustainability at practical level.

Plate is an active leader of youth organization Maja (the House), while Davidovs is the founder of Global Shapers Riga hub, an initiative led by the World Economic Forum, and Dicmane is a student of New York University and an intern at Latvia’s permanent mission to the UN.