On 9 September 2020, the Ambassador of Latvia to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Indulis Ābelis, presented his credentials to the Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay.
During the meeting, the Amb. Ābelis noted that Latvia has been an active and responsible member of UNESCO since 1991, with its expertise in the fields of cultural heritage, communication and information technologies, education and science, and experience with important programmes in other areas.
The Director-General commended the contributions of Latvian experts to UNESCO’s programmes in education and science, artificial intelligence and bioethics, welcoming in particular the participation of former Latvian President, Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga, in the International Commission for the Futures of Education.
Ambassador Ābelis thanked UNESCO for its efforts in supporting its member states during the COVID-19 crisis by mobilising global solidarity to bridge the gap between the countries in terms of education, accessibility of digital solutions, and digital skills and to address the consequences of the pandemic across all the areas of the organisation’s activity.
As the Ambassador informed the Director-General about activities planned by Latvia, he highlighted Latvia’s rich cultural heritage as a living value and confirmed that Latvia was interested in enhancing that heritage by proposing new sites for inscription on the World Heritage List, for example, the Grobiņa archaeological ensemble, and the old town of Kuldīga.
In a discussion on other key topics for cooperation between Latvia and UNESCO, Indulis Ābelis noted Latvia’s positive profile and active engagement with UNESCO through providing expertise in the areas of media freedom, safety of journalists and media literacy. He confirmed preparedness to continue working in the UNESCO International Programme for the Development of Communication, IPDC, and its Intergovernmental Council. The Ambassador underlined Latvia’s active participation in the Group of Friends of Ukraine and the need to keep the issue of Ukraine’s territorial indivisibility and integrity on the agenda of UNESCO.
The Ambassador invited the Director-General to visit Latvia when the crisis has subsided.
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