In UN address, Latvian leader advocates placing peacebuilding high on post-2015 agenda

President Andris Bērziņš of the Republic of Latvia. UN Photo/Sarah Fretwell

24 September 2013 – Peacebuilding should feature high on the global development agenda that countries are crafting for the period following 2015, the deadline for achieving the anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the President of Latvia said today in his address to the United Nations General Assembly.

“Fragile, conflict-affected and least developed countries face the biggest difficulties in ensuring sustainable development,” Andris Berzinš told world leaders gathered for the Assembly’s annual General Debate. The annual debate, which draws political officials from around the world to discuss national and international issues, opened today and wraps up on 1 October.

He said that growing evidence shows that progress on the MDGs – which range from slashing hunger and poverty to ensuring access to education and health services – in these States is impossible without first achieving peace and security.

“This leads us to one of the cornerstones of the new post-2015 vision: peace and security are basic conditions for a decent life and for the enjoyment of human rights,” he stated.

The UN is currently working with Governments, civil society and other partners to build on the momentum generated by the MDGs and carry on with an ambitious post-2015 development agenda.

A set of peacebuilding goals, the President stated, should be high on the post-2015 agenda, and the UN should continue to play the leading role in promoting the settlement of disputes by peaceful means.

“Latvia,” he added, “is convinced that the resolution of protracted conflicts in Moldova, Georgia as well as Nagorno-Karabakh should remain high on the international agenda. Efforts to achieve conflict resolution should be increased.”

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