On 7 December 2019, the Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica took part in the end-of-the-year meeting of leaders of diaspora organisations organised by the Latvian Embassy in Ireland.
The Parliamentary Secretary informed those present about foreign policy issues of high importance to Latvia, welcoming the defence plan for the Baltic countries recently updated at a meeting of NATO leaders.
Speaking about the latest developments in diaspora policy, Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica underlined that the Law on the Diaspora signifies support by the Latvian government for the preservation of Latvian identity and the networking of Latvians across the globe. She also noted that the Diaspora Law is the result of a joint effort of the Saeima (Latvian Parliament), the government and all diaspora organisations.
Replying to questions on Brexit, the Parliamentary Secretary promised that the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in consultations with the United Kingdom and the European Commission, will produce recommendations for citizens of Latvia who live in Ireland but work in Northern Ireland.
The Ambassador-at-Large for the Diaspora, Aivars Groza, gave a presentation on the work of the Diaspora Advisory Council and the approval of projects under the financial support programme for the diaspora.
The Ambassador of Latvia to Ireland, Jānis Sīlis, informed the participants about the work accomplished by the Embassy in 2019 and plans for 2020.
The Ambassadorial Certificates of Merit were presented to Latvian sports enthusiasts in Ireland for promoting sports activities among children and youth, fostering a healthy lifestyle and raising Latvia’s profile in Ireland and worldwide.
As part of her visit, Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica also met with Ann Derwin, Director General of the Global Irish Services Division at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Geoffrey Keating, Director of the division’s Irish Abroad Unit, for a discussion about the experience of both countries in sustaining the link with the diaspora, preserving national identity and utilising the diaspora’s expertise for the economic development of the country.
Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica underlined during the conversation that, in the contemporary dynamic world, we should not speak about emigration in its classical understanding but about mobility, including the utilisation of new opportunities and obtaining of valuable experience.
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