On 2 October 2019, the Parliamentary Secretary of the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica, noted in her address at the opening of the Board Meeting of the World Federation of Free Latvians (PBLA) that the planned opening of a Latvian embassy in Australia would be a major step in stimulating and dynamising cooperation with the Latvian community abroad. This will help in fostering cultural, educational and business links between Latvia and its diaspora. The Parliamentary Secretary highlighted in particular the support from the Latvian diaspora for Latvia’s candidacy for the post of a non-permanent member to the UN Security Council in 2025-2026, which is an important foreign policy aim for Latvia. The ability to mobilise support across Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific could play a significant role in the outcome of the election.
The Parliamentary Secretary thanked PBLA for their support and initiative in the implementation of educational and cultural projects and for their work and cooperation with Latvian businesses at the World Latvian Economic and Innovation Forum. Not only do such events help promote business contacts; they also encourage the entrepreneurs from the diaspora to return to their homeland.
Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica informed board meeting participants about current issues in the field of diaspora policy. The Diaspora Advisory Council has been established under the aegis of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and is tasked with the coordination of diaspora-related matters. The Council is a successful outcome of a dialogue between state authorities, civil society organisations and the Latvian community abroad. On 1 October, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosted the second meeting of the Diaspora Advisory Council.
On 3 October, in a discussion on developments in the diaspora policy held by the Board of the World Federation of Free Latvians, the Parliamentary Secretary spoke about organizing summer camps and schools, which is a vital tool for sustaining the link with the Latvian community abroad. Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica proposed that information on this opportunity should be collected and presented on a single website, which would make it easier for young people to apply and plan their travel.
Concerning Latvia’s candidacy for the post of a non-permanent member on the UN Security Council, the Parliamentary Secretary and members of the PBLA Board agreed that they would act in a concerted manner in order to secure maximum support.
The annual PBLA Board meeting and related events are taking place in Riga from the 2nd to 4th October.
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