Statement by H.E. Mr. Jānis Mažeiks Permanent Representative of the Republic of Latvia at the Open Debate of the Security Council “Protection of Critical Infrastructure against Terrorist Attacks”

13.02.2017. 10:58

Mr. President,

Latvia welcomes the initiative of Ukraine, Presidency of the Security Council for this month, to hold this important debate bringing the issue of the protection of critical infrastructure from terrorist attacks to the forefront of the international discourse. I thank all the speakers for their valuable briefings.

Latvia aligns itself with the statement delivered by the European Union.

 Mr. President,

The spread and intensity of global terrorism is, without a doubt, one of the greatest threats to international peace and security we face today. In the past year, in Europe alone, we witnessed a number of heinous acts of terror, some of which were committed ruthlessly and purposefully against critical infrastructure. The attacks on the airport and subway station in Brussels last March illustrate, all too painfully, that terrorists have and will continue to spread fear and disarray by striking where they deem to have most impact.

Attacks on transportation systems, as well as on telecommunications networks, energy infrastructure and water supply can often multiply the perceived terrorist threat, causing a ripple effect of fear that reaches far beyond those immediately affected by the attack.  Therefore, the prevention of such attacks by creating adequate protection measures for critical infrastructure is of paramount importance. Mr. President, in support of your call to consolidate international efforts in increasing resilience against terrorist threats, Latvia joined the co-sponsors of the resolution on “Protection of Critical Infrastructure from Terrorist Attacks” which was adopted by the Security Council this morning.     

In Latvia, the measures of protection for critical infrastructure reflect the common approach established by the European Union, and employ the EU tools designed for this very purpose. Our legislation is closely attuned to the requirements set out by the EU Directive on European Critical Infrastructure, thus contributing to the unification of identification and protection standards for critical infrastructure objects on a regional – European - scale.

We have established a cross-sectoral government commission tasked with regular identification and assessment of existing and potential critical infrastructure objects in order to improve safety and security of all potentially critical infrastructure objects. The security and protection requirements for these objects are equally high for nationally, municipally or privately owned structures. Moreover, all structures deemed as national or European critical infrastructure objects in Latvia have a designated point of contact to facilitate exchange of information with national security institutions. To strengthen public-private partnerships and build capacity with regards to the security and protection of critical infrastructure objects, the responsible internal security institutions hold regular training seminars and on-site workshops for both private and public entities tasked with ensuring oversight and security of critical infrastructure objects.

Mr. President,

In the increasingly globalized and interconnected world, the digitalization and integration of critical infrastructure with information and communication technologies adds a new sense of urgency for the need of comprehensive and internationally coordinated protection efforts. In our view, this is the area where the United Nations can play a key role by providing the best platform for the exchange of knowledge, experiences and best practices among the member states.

I thank you.