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Vike-Freiberga UN Secretary General Candidacy Supported by Baltic-Americans Vote in UN Expected Soon

September 22, 2006

Washington, DC (JBANC) --- The Joint Baltic American National Committee, Inc. (JBANC) joins other Baltic-Americans in supporting the candidacy of Latvian President Vaira Vike-Freiberga to become the next Secretary-General of the United Nations.

It is anticipated that the UN will soon choose a new Secretary-General to replace Kofi Annan, who leaves the post at the end of the year. A September 28 test vote is to be held among UN Security Council members, but a final vote is not expected until October.

President Vike-Freiberga is well qualified for this important post and there are many compelling reasons to support her candidacy:

· Since 1999, she has served with great distinction as the President of Latvia;

· It is time for a female UN Secretary-General;

· As the first Secretary-General from Eastern Europe she would help integrate those nations with the UN's mission and activities, mindful of their historical desires for self-determination and peace;

· As the leader of a small nation, she comprehends and has become highly experienced and recognized in multilateral diplomacy, vital to establishing peace, security, and prosperity;

· Appointed in 2005 as Special Envoy for UN Reform, she is familiar with issues faced by today’s UN;

· Her experiences are not limited to government or the UN – she was a professor of psychology, and is a noted folklorist, while also devoting herself to community service, developing skills important in this position;

· She will never be indifferent to the plight of refugees, nor to the travails of the poor and oppressed, as she herself was forced to flee her native Latvia as a child, becoming a displaced person who grew up in the West. (See BATUN for additional information: http://www.batun.org)

The UN delegations of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania officially submitted the candidacy of President Vike-Freiberga on September 15. She is one of six persons seeking the post. Other reported candidates are: South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon, UN Undersecretary-General for Public Affairs Shashi Tharoor of India, Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister Surakiart Sathirathai, former UN disarmament chief Jayantha Dhanapala of Sri Lanka, and Jordan’s UN Ambassador Prince Zeid al Hussein.

The website http://www.unsgselection.org states that “the Secretary-General is appointed by the General Assembly under the recommendation of the Security Council, subject to veto by the five permanent members, for renewable five-year terms.”


Octobr 17, 2008 - President Bush Discusses the Visa Waiver Program
Office of the Press Secretary/ White House News

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all. (Applause.) Please be seated, thank you. Welcome to the White House. I'm pleased to stand with the representatives of seven countries -- the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, and South Korea -- that have met the requirements to be admitted to the United States Visa Waiver Program. Soon the citizens of these nations will be able to travel to the United States for business or tourism without a visa. I congratulate these close friends and allies on this achievement, and I thank you for joining us here.

I also thank Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of the Homeland -- Department of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff for working hard to make sure this day has finally arrived. Appreciate other members of the administration here and members of the Diplomatic Corps.

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