RIGA - Russia's aggression against Ukraine must not lower international law standards, President Egils Levits said following a meeting with Abdulla Shahid, President of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Maldives, in Riga Castle on Thursday.
As LETA was told at the president's office, Levits meeting with Shahid focused on current issues on the global agenda, including climate change, international law, Russia's war in Ukraine, as well as Latvia's involvement in UN activities.
The Latvian president welcomed the the UN General Assembly president's first visit to Latvia and spoke appreciatively of cooperation during his presidency in areas like addressing geopolitical challenges, dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic, achieving sustainability goals, etc.
In the conversation Shahid noted that Latvia a respected UN member with a constructive approach to international affairs and in the UN. Shahid also thanked Latvia for active involvement in UN structures by defending a rules-based international order, sustainability, gender quality and peace.
During the meeting Levits indicated that Latvia will continue to actively highlight the need for further UN reforms.
Much attention in the conversation was paid to the international law system and ensuring peace in the world. Both officials stressed the role of small counties in ensuring multilateralism and compliance with international law. Levits emphasized that Latvia strongly condemns Russia's aggression against Ukraine and called for a special tribunal tasked with investigating Russia's crimes in Ukraine.
Levits admitted that setting up such a tribunal would be a complicated task as it would require votes from at least two thirds of the General Assembly's members. "But we are unanimous that it is necessary to push ahead with this idea," Levits said.
Levits also informed Shahid about Latvia's bid for a non-permanent membership of the UN Security Council in the 2025 elections.