Latvia at the UN Security Council News
Straume AZE
Photo: Juris Vīgulis, Saeima

On 21 May 2024, an exhibition “Jūlijs Straume – 150. Ornaments through cultures” was opened, and a presentation was held on the intangible heritage of Latvian culture and Jūlijs Straume in the Caucasus and Azerbaijan in the National History Museum in Baku.

The event was held to mark the 150th anniversary of the Latvian master of applied arts, Jūlijs Straume, who had spent 16 productive years of his life in the countries of the Caucasus region, including Azerbaijan.

The exhibition was opened by Daiga Mieriņa, Speaker of the Saeima of the Republic of Latvia, who was on an official visit to Azerbaijan from 18 to 22 May.

“The life stories of Jūlijs Straume and other Latvian artists, musicians and writers strengthen and enrich our relationship, which allows us to get to know and deeper understand each other through culture. It is because culture reveals so much about our identity, the core of our nation,” the Speaker of the Saeima said in her address.

She underlined, “It is a value in itself, which we want to praise and strengthen. Understanding and mutual respect, dialogue, equality, freedom as a value, inviolability of borders, promotion of peace, the rule of law, responsibility – these are the principles that underpin our intergovernmental relations and on which we build our foreign policy. For a small country, these principles and respect for international law are particularly important. We therefore want to base our work on these very same principles in the UN Security Council, while aspiring to be elected to the council for the first time next year.”

The presentation and exhibition have been designed to raise the visibility of Latvia and to show Latvia as a sustainable country loyal to the UN principles, a country with good practice contributing not only to bilateral relations between Latvia-Azerbaijan, but also to the international community.

The event was attended by members of the Azerbaijani Parliament, representatives of the diplomatic corps, the Latvian diaspora, and the media. The presentation and exhibition have been organized by the Embassy of Latvia in Azerbaijan in cooperation with the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design, the Gulbene District History and Art Museum, the Latvian State Archives, the Druviena Old School museum, the “Fifth House” Creative Association, as well as Prof. Dr. Kubra Aliyev and researcher Fuad Ahundov from Azerbaijan. The design of the project was prepared by the distinguished Azerbaijani artist Sabina Shihlinskaya.

This year, Latvia and Azerbaijan celebrate the 30th anniversary of their diplomatic relations, but the connection between the two peoples goes further back in history for more than a century. The Caucasus has been a source of inspiration for many Latvians, and several writers and artists important to our culture have spent a considerable amount of time in Azerbaijan.

The work of Jūlijs Straume in Azerbaijan is an important part of the Latvian cultural heritage. At the same time, the cultural influence of the South Caucasus countries and Azerbaijan is apparent in his later creative activities in Latvia.

The exhibition dedicated to Jūlijs Straume will be on display in the museum from 22 May to 21 June.

The event was implemented as part of the public diplomacy programme in support of the campaign of Latvia’s candidature for the United Nations Security Council. The aim of the campaign under the motto of “Together for Peace and Resilience” is to ensure the successful election of Latvia to the UN Security Council for the period from 2026 to 2027 in the 2025 elections, where Latvia is standing for the seat of an elected member for the first time. Participation in the UN Security Council would be one of the most significant instruments for the implementation and protection of the foreign policy interests of Latvia; it would also make it possible to further expand the international cooperation of Latvia thereby contributing to world peace and resilience.

Information about the opening ceremony is available on the Embassy’s Facebook page and its X/Twitter account, @LVinAzerbaijan.