Zatlers visits U.S., to speak at U.N.

It’s not every day the president comes to your school, but for some New York pupils Sept. 20 will be that day. Latvian President Valdis Zatlers will visit the school at the New York Latvian Ev.-Lutheran Church as he starts a week-long visit to the United States.

Zatlers’ agenda for the week, according to the president’s press office, is focused on events at the United Nations, where the 64th General Assembly is meeting.

The president’s visit will include a speech to political science and international relations students at Yale University in New Haven, Conn.; participation in a U.N.-organized summit on global climate change as well as in the Clinton Global Initiative, as well as one-on-one meetings with other world leaders.

Details of the president’s week in the United States include:

  • Sept. 20: Participation in a 10 a.m. church service in the New York Latvian Ev.-Lutheran Church, 4 Riga Lane, Melville, including visiting the Latvian school and meeting members of the Latvian community.
  •  Sept. 21: Lunch with orthopaedics professor Kristaps Keggi of the Yale School of Medicine, with medical school Dean Robert Alpern, as well as a visit to the school and a meeting with orthopaedics students. Zatlers also will speak to political science and international relations students on “Transatlantic Dynamics After the Global Economic Crisis,” scheduled at 4 p.m. in Room 203, Luce Hall, 34 Hillhouse Ave., New Haven. A reception will follow in The Macmillan Center.
  • Sept. 22: Participation in the U.N. organized summit on global climate change. Zatlers also will attend the fifth annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative, an effort started by former U.S. President Bill Clinton to encourage governments, the private sector and non-governmental organizations to collaborate on solving world problems.
  • Sept. 23: Participation in the opening ceremony of the U.N.‘s 64th General Assembly; meetings with several heads of state; visiting with representatives of the American Jewish Congress, the American Jewish Committee and B’nai B’rith International; and participation in a reception hosted by U.S. President Barack Obama in honor of the General Assembly.
  • Sept. 24: Participation in a roundtable discussion organized by Daris G. Dēliņš, Latvia’s honorary consul in New York, and meeting with President Fatmir Sejdiu of Kosovo. Zatlers is scheduled to address the U.N. General Assembly at 5 p.m. Eastern time.
  • Sept. 25: Meeting with businessman and philanthropist George Soros.

Accompanying the president will be First Lady Lilita Zatlers. She wll attend the second annual World Focus on Autism, which will headed by Ban Soon-taek, wife of U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Latvian Foreign Minister Māris Riekstiņš also is expected to participate in the U.N. General Assembly, according to a press release from the ministry. He is scheduled to have meetings with his counterparts from Canada, Israel, Kazakhstan, Malta, Montenegro and Serbia. Riekstiņš also is to participate in meetings with other European Union foreign ministers, as well as with Baltic and Nordic foreign ministers.

Zatlers at U.N.

Latvian President Valdis Zatlers speaks in September 2008 to the 63rd General Assembly of the United Nations. (Photo by Marco Castro, courtesy of the United Nations)

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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