President to world: Crimea situation needs «firm UN reaction»

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Latvian President Raimonds Vejonis took center stage at the United Nations Wednesday, delivering a speech to the UN's most important gathering of the year, the general debate of the 71st session of the General Assembly.

According to the official UN website Vejonis said the migration crisis could not be addressed by the most affected countries alone but would require joint efforts and shared responsibility.

While military and security measures were necessary to combat Da’esh and similar groups, it was critical to address the root causes that drove people to turn to violence, he suggested.

“We need to think of novel ways to prevent extremism and radicalization,” he said, calling for an international plan to build resilience in communities that for years had suffered the barbaric rule of Da’esh.

In the same vein, local populations must have the power to shape their future based on rule of law and human rights.  They must also work to counter extremism and terrorism, he argued.

It was also a “very turbulent time” in Europe’s security landscape, he said, emphasizing that various protracted conflicts should remain high on the international agenda.

"Russia has undermined the foundations of international law by changing borders of sovereign states through the use of force. Latvia together with the international community will continue to stand for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

"The illegal annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation will not be recognized and must end. Any discrimination against the Crimean Tatars and ethnic Ukrainians in Crimea requires a firm UN reaction," Vejonis asserted. 

Latvia would also continue to support Ukraine in its reform process and humanitarian needs, he pledged, and said reform of the way the UN Security Council works is "long overdue".

Meanwhile Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics has been using his stay in New York to cram in an impressive number of one-on-one meetings with his counterparts from around the world and others.



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