I would like to begin by congratulating five newly elected non-permanent members of the Security Council: Estonia, Viet Nam, Niger, Tunisia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Latvia wishes you every success in your new duties.
Let me also express our deep condolences to the families and friends of victims of the Ukrainian International Airlines flight that crashed en route from Tehran to Kyiv. There must be an independent and transparent investigation of this accident.
I thank the Presidency of Viet Nam of the Security Council for organizing this timely debate. I also thank the UN Secretary-General and Chair of the Elders for their statements.
Latvia aligns itself with the statement to be delivered by the European Union.
Effective multilateralism and the rules based international system has been a long-standing priority for Latvia. This year`s 75th anniversary of the United Nations is the right time to revisit and reconfirm our commitment to principles that alleviated the sufferings of the past century and promised a better future for the next generations. They are indispensable principles of international cooperation, peaceful settlement of disputes, human rights and the rule of law and the only viable way to achieve lasting global peace and security.
We are deeply concerned about the latest flare up of violent confrontations in the Middle East. For the sake of preserving regional and global security and stability, it is essential to halt further escalation and create space for diplomacy. It is the only way forward to achieve a regional political solution and lasting peace while upholding international law and the role of the UN in the process.
Credibility of the whole international system depends on our ability to effectively prevent grave violations of international law and respond to multitude of new challenges. Here the UN Security Council carries a special responsibility as the “gate-keeper” of the international peace and security. Yet, Security Council has not always lived up to the challenge, as indicated by escalating humanitarian crises and erupting conflicts. Furthermore, the use of the veto should never be reserved for situations involving mass atrocities.
Security Council should have one voice in calling for the impunity regarding the human rights violations that have taken place in Syria, Myanmar and Yemen. While we welcome the adoption of the Secretary-General’s funding proposal for the IIIM, rigorous implementation of all parts of its mandate to ensure accountability in the most serious crimes committed in Syria, is crucial. We also express our support for the Syria Constitutional Committee. At this stage, it is essential for all international and regional players to support it in order to achieve genuine political transition.
Similarly, Russia’s annexation of Ukrainian Crimea, and its covert and overt actions in Eastern Ukraine violate the UN Charter`s fundamental principle of territorial integrity. Latvia welcomes the commitment reached in Normandy Summit to stabilize the situation in Russia-Ukraine conflict area as well as recent exchange of detainees. In this regard, we call on Russia to implement in full Minsk agreement and to restore Ukraine`s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Also other so-called frozen conflicts in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Transnistria, Nagorno-Karabakh should be resolved by peaceful means and based on generally recognized principles of international law, sovereignty and territorial integrity.
To conclude, we should not stop striving for universal respect for the principles of international law and the UN Charter as it is essential to maintaining international peace and security against a backdrop of serious threats and growing turmoil in many regions.