On 5 March, Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs was on a visit in Geneva, Switzerland, where he delivered addresses at the opening events of the 25th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council and the High-Level Segment of the Conference on Disarmament.
Speaking at the Human Rights Council in regard to the situation in Ukraine, Foreign Minister pointed to the grave violations of human rights by the former President Viktor Yanukovich and condemned Russia's aggression that threatens the territorial integrity of Ukraine and is in clear breach of international law. The minister called on the international community to provide Ukraine with the necessary assistance in the stabilisation of the situation and calling to account the responsible Ukrainian officials.
Foreign Minister Rinkēvičs commended the Geneva II Peace Conference on Syria held in February, and called for ceasing violence and ensuring access to humanitarian aid.
The Foreign Minister informed those present about Latvia's candidacy to the UN Human Rights Council for the term from 2015 to 2017 and introduce them to Latvia's priorities in the human rights field: the rule of law, gender equality, and freedom online. Latvian Foreign Minister also met with the Foreign Minister of Armenia Edvard Nalbandian and the Foreign Minister of Burkina Faso Djibril Ypènè Bassolé. Minister Rinkēvičs invited his counterparts to support Latvia's candidacy for the election to the UN Human Rights Council to be held this autumn.
In his address to the Conference of Disarmament, the minister also highlighted the events in Ukraine and urged Russia to meet its commitments under the Budapest Memorandum of 1994, when in return for sovereignty and territorial integrity guarantees Ukraine acceded to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty. "The situation when Russia not only goes back on its commitments under the Budapest Memorandum, but also uses military force against Ukraine in violation of the provisions of the UN Charter, undermines the fundamentals of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty," Minister Rinkēvičs accentuated.