3 MAY 2023


Mr President, excellencies,

Latvia welcomes this high-level open debate on building and sustaining peace. We appreciate Switzerland’s leadership by organizing this meeting, and thank all the briefers for their valuable insight. Latvia aligns itself with the statement to be delivered by the European Union.

Latvia shares the view that trust is a key ingredient when it comes to building and sustaining peace. As we all know, trust takes long time and patience to develop, at the same time it is very easy to break it. Therefore, we should focus on solid building blocks of trust, which in turn can play crucial role in upholding global peace and security.

First of all, trust depends on adherence to rules and norms by everyone who has signed up to them. The international rules-based order was established to prevent the darkest pages of the history of the 20th century from ever repeating again. Therefore, each case when a state attempts to divert from this order should cause deepest alarm in the global community. One clear example is Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, which constitutes blatant violation of the UN Charter, as well as other key tenets of the International Law and International Humanitarian Law.

It is imperative that all members of the Security Council strictly reject such behavior by Russia and continue efforts to stop its aggression in order to preserve trust and credibility of this body.  The international community by having entrusted significant powers to the Council has all the reasons to expect from its members, particularly the P5 states, to hold international norms to their highest standard rather than brutally trample upon them.

Secondly, trust goes hand in hand with confidence in the ability of the international community to successfully manage and overcome crises and challenges. From COVID-19 pandemic to the climate crisis we have seen inconsistent responses, which often leave vulnerable groups, including women and girls, being the most exposed. Therefore, we believe that strengthening resilience is an important priority in the context of improving governance at local, regional and global level, as it can help to absorb shocks, manage crises and prevent further disruption.

While acknowledging the importance of national efforts to build resilience, the international community and the UN in particular has an important role to play in supporting and coordinating these efforts in various areas, including cyber security, sustainable energy, media and information literacy and others.

Thirdly and finally, Latvia strongly believes in the importance of ensuring accountability as a vehicle for building trust and sustaining peace. As a donor to the Peacebuilding Fund and a former member of the Peacebuilding Commission, we have noted that in many successful peacebuilding cases accountability and justice has played key role in post-conflict transition, helping communities to reconcile with the past and to focus on building a peaceful future. While, on the contrary, impunity always creates fertile ground for more crimes, violence and suffering.

Therefore, in our view, the theme of accountability deserves more attention in the peacebuilding and New Agenda for Peace deliberations, which should aim at closer collaboration among the Security Council and the PBC, as well as the Human Rights Council. Ensuring adequate funding for the respective peacebuilding and human rights mandates and activities is equally important.

Before I close, let me assure you of Latvia’s commitment to continue contributing to our collective efforts to build trust as a central element of sustaining peace.

I thank you.