Latvia assumes the presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe with great sense of responsibility.

In the aftermath of the Second World War, the Council of Europe was founded to uphold human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Europe. As Europe’s leading human rights organisation, it has contributed to a rules-based order on our continent. This organisation has played an important role in the restoration and strengthening of Latvia's independence. 

Russia’s unjustified and brutal aggression against Ukraine is a threat to peace and security in Europe. It undermines the existing international rules-based system. It goes against the core values the Council of Europe and its Member states. Therefore, more than ever, it is important for us to unite around the protection of human rights, democracy and the rule of law. We must counter democratic backsliding and repressions against free media and civil society. The Council of Europe must keep its standards high in securing rights and freedoms of Europeans and addressing new arising challenges. 

The primary task of the Latvian Presidency will be to launch the implementation of the decisions taken at the Fourth Summit of the Council of Europe. Given the unique expertise this Organisation has accumulated over the years, it must provide all necessary support to Ukraine as it fights for its freedom. The Latvian Presidency will keep the issue of Russia’s accountability for its crimes committed against Ukraine high on the agenda of this Organisation.

Latvia, as a committed member, will work together with all Member states to strengthen the political role, impact and visibility of the Council of Europe.


Edgars Rinkēvičs
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia
17 May 2023