A more flexible UN can have real, positive impact on the ground, Latvia tells Assembly

President Raimonds Vejonis of the Republic of Latvia addresses the general debate of the General Assembly’s seventy-second session. UN Photo/Cia Pak

20 September 2017 – The President of Latvia, Raimonds Vejonis, told the General Assembly today that while the United Nations remains the central forum for multilateralism and a rules-based global order, if the Organization is more transparent and flexible it could “bring positive, real influence to people on the ground.”

Mr. Vejonis noted that for people to fully realize their potential, they need a stable and secure environment – adding that UN resources often go to managing and responding to crises, instead of preventing them. He emphasized that conflict prevention must be at the core of UN action, saying “saving human lives and upholding human dignity must be our common priority.”

He expressed Latvia’s deep concern over nuclear proliferation, strongly condemning all nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches by Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. While saying that a peaceful and diplomatic solution to this situation is a “a priority,” he noted that in the meantime, “all States must fully implement relevant UN Security Council resolutions.” Mr. Vejonis also reiterated Latvia’s call for “long overdue” Council reform and encouraged “especially the veto-wielding members” to move beyond their domestic interests to address global challenges.

He spoke about the rules-based security order in Europe, underscoring the territorial integrity of independent States, and calling Russia’s “unprovoked aggression against its neighbours” a serious breach of international security rules.

The Latvian President concluded by underscoring that all Member States must work together to ensure that the UN adapt to a changing global environment, focus on priorities and deliver results.


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