Zatlers to address United Nations, meet with New York, Boston Latvians

President Zatlers at the United Nations

President Valdis Zatlers addresses the United Nations General Assembly last year. The president returns to the podium on Sept. 24. (United Nations photo by Erin Siegal)

Latvian President Valdis Zatlers will address the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 24 as part of a weeklong visit to the United States, his press office has announced.

This will be Zatlers’ fourth time addressing the General Assembly. Last year, he spoke about the global financial crisis, about security issues especially in Georgia and Iran, and about reform of the U.N.‘s Security Council.

Zatlers and his wife, Lilita Zatlere, also will participate in several other events, including meeting with the Latvian communities in New York and Boston. Their visit to the U.S. runs from Sept. 20-28, according to the press office.

The president is scheduled on Sept. 22 to address the U.N.‘s annual Summit on the Millennium Development Goals, which runs Sept. 20-22 in New York. The goals were set forth by the United Nations in 2000 and include halving world poverty by the year 2015. Zatlers will speak about what Latvia has done to help meet the goals.

Zatlers also will participate in the annual Clinton Global Initiative, created by former U.S. President Bill Clinton. The organization’s meeting runs from Sept. 21-23 in New York. The Clinton Global Initiative brings together world leaders to discuss solutions for pressing problems.

The Latvian president also is scheduled to meet with representatives of the American Jewish Committee and with representatives of American financial and economic interests to talk about his country’s political and economic situation, according to the press office.

On Sept. 23, the president is to award the Order of Viesturs to Lt. Col. David P. Holahan, the former U.S. defense attache to Latvia.

The president is scheduled Sept. 26 to meet with members of the New York Latvian community when he visits the New York Latvian Ev. Lutheran Church, 254 Valentine Lane, Yonkers. He will participate in the 10 a.m. service and, afterward, the annual Miķeļu tirgus bazaar, according to the online community calendar, Zatlers also is expected to speak about the Oct. 2 parliamentary elections in Latvia.

On Sept. 27, the president heads to Boston to meet with members of the Massachusetts Latvian community.

The following day, Sept. 28, Zatlers speaks about “Latvia After the Economic Crisis” to the European Club at the Harvard Kennedy School. The public address is scheduled from 4-6 p.m. in the Malkin Penthouse of the Littauer Building, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Cambridge.

Lilita Zatlere is scheduled to participate in a U.N. conference on autism, a roundtable discussion titled “Women Connected for Health” and an event for first ladies organized by U.S. President Barack Obama’s wife, Michelle Obama.

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

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