On 20 September, President of Latvia Egils Levits met with Ilze Brands-Kehris, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, in New York to discuss the current human rights agenda of the UN.
President Levits confirmed Latvia’s support for UN Secretary-General’s initiative ‘Our Common Agenda’, a vision which focuses on common tasks of the UN member states for the next quarter century. Human rights are one of the key focuses of this vision. Both officials stressed the central role of the UN in developing and strengthening global human rights standards.
President of Latvia will address the UN General Assembly on September 21st.
President also met with US Jewish organisations and urged them to join the common fight against Russia’s attempts to rewrite the history. Meeting also focused on fight against hate speech and anti-Semitism. Europe and America should join their efforts in fighting these issues online. ‘Freedom of speech is a vital part of democracy, and we must all work together on defining where freedom of speech ends and hate speech needs to be prevented when it comes to use of modern technologies globally,’ President Levits stressed.
Egils Levits also accepted the invitation of his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and joined the UN Secretary-General and presidents of Lithuania, Brazil and other countries for the inauguration of Turkish House in New York.
President of Latvia also gave an interview to the Washington Post.
Mrs Andra Levite spent the 20 September meeting with Pramila Patten, the UN Under-Secretary-General and officer-in-charge of UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, in New York. Meeting focused on well-being and education of women and girls in Latvia and globally. Special concerns about the safety of Afghan women and women in other conflict zones were raised. Andra Levite presented the “Riga TechGirls” education activities. Pramila Patten was very interested in possibilities of scaling Riga TechGirls programmes up beyond the borders of Latvia to help other girls.