Latviaís governmental structure is a Parliamentary democracy with many political parties, such as the Green party, peoplesí party, freedom party, and the current ruling party, New Era. All citizens of Latvia aged 18 and older may vote. In November 2002, the country held a general election in which six parties won representation in the Saeima (Latvian parliament). A newly formed center-right and pro-business party, New Era, won the largest number of seats. Gaining the second-largest number of seats, was the Human Rights party, representing the interests of Latviaís large Russian-speaking minority.
Latvia is a former Soviet republic in northeastern Europe. After a short time between the two World Wars, Latvia was taken over by the USSR in 1940. But then regained itís independence in 1991 following the breakup of the Soviet Union.
Latvia is located in Eastern Europe bordering the Baltic Sea between Estonia and Lithuania. It is surrounded by Estonia and the Gulf of Riga in the north, and by Russia on the east. It neighbors Belarus and Lithuania on the south, and lies on the Baltic Sea on the west. The land in Latvia is often very wet, and in need of drainage. Most of the country is composed of fertile, low-lying plains, with some hills in the east. There are over 12,000 rivers in Latvia. The major rivers are the Gauja, the Venta, and the Lielupe. It has over 3,000 small lakes.
Natural resources include materials such as limestone, gypsum and peat which are used as construction materials. In addition, fish from the Baltic Sea, amber from the beaches of the Baltic Sea are major exports of Latviaís natural resources. Wood plays a major factor in Latviaís economy because forty-seven percent of Latvia is forest land. (Exporting)
Latvia has a population of 2,348,784. It is made up of: Latvians who constitute 57.7% of the population. Russians constitute the largest minority group representing about 30%. Other minorities include Belarusianís 4.1%, Ukrainians 2.7%, Polish 2.5%, Lithuanians 1.4%, and others 2%. Christianity is the major religion in Latvia with Lutheran, Roman Catholic, and Russian Orthodox being the three traditional Christian religions of the population.
Freedom of religious worship was discouraged during the Soviet rule, because the communist government did not allow churches or any kind of other religious worship.
During 1940-1991, Latviaís economy suffered during Soviet Rule due to forced industrialization which resulted in environmental problems. After gaining independence in 1991, Latvia has strived to be a member of Europe and establish a market economy. This period of transition led to economic upheaval as the country struggled to switch from a state-dominated to a free trade system. Today, Latvia is considered one of the strongest economies of the former Soviet republic states. Latvia is a member of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank), and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). In 1995, Latvia became an associate member of the European Union (EU). Latvia entered EU membership negotiations in February 2000, having accomplished the reforms necessary to meet the requirements for full membership.
In December 2002 the EU voted to include Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and seven other nations in the organizationís long-planned second round of expansion. Formal entry is set for 2004. By Central and Eastern European standards, Latvia has comparatively low wages, low office rents, low inflation and a low level of external debt. It ranks average as regards GDP growth, risk rating and unemployment
When it was under Soviet rule, Latvia had no defense forces. Since gaining independence in 1991, Latvia has developed its own military which includes an army, a navy, and an air force. The armed forces totaled 6,600, including 1,650 in the army, 630 in the navy, 180 in the air force, and 4,140 in the border guard
Views on world problems:-
Latvia has many different allies. Its three major allies are Germany, America, and France. Latvia does not have any enemies because it had a very late independence (1991), however, Latvia has border dispute problems with neighboring Russia and Lithuania over oil exploration rights. In 1995, Latvia became an associate member of the European Union (EU). In December 2002 the EU voted to include Latvia in the organizationís long-planned second round of expansion. Latvia entered EU membership negotiations in February 2000, having accomplished the reforms necessary to meet the requirements for full membership. Latvia and Russia have a rather cold relationship.
After itís late independence, Latvia has not been able to have a working relationship with Russia The Russians that remained after the war are NOT allowed to vote so most of them want to move back to Russia because they have no future planned out for them. Latvia is in many organizations, such as Council of Europe, and European Union, Organization of African Unity, (OAU), Organization of American State (OAS), and Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
In 2000 BC., Latvian ancestors appeared. In the beginning of the 13th century, Latvia was dominated by three countries, Germany, Poland and Russia.
In August, Latvia finally became a republic of the USSR and then was reinstated as part of the USSR after the war in 1945. The Latvian Supreme Soviet voted to end the communist partyís power. Then in August, it gained itís independence.
In 1994, Latvia was invited to become a full member of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty organization), which was formed to protect Western Europe from possible attack by the USSR (previous Soviet republic). Latvia and its Baltic neighbors were the first Soviet republics invited to join NATO. In 2002, Latvia was one of 10 countries formally invited to join the European Union. Latviaís formal entry into both NATO and the EU is set for 2004.
Issue # 1: The issue of the rights and availability of generic drugs:-
Generic drugs are drugs that pharmaceutical companies produce at lower prices than the brand name drugs. Generic drugs are being manufactured for developing countries to fight diseases such as: AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis. Latvia has a strong pharmaceutical industry. Annual sales of the Latvian pharmaceutical market was estimated to be around US $ 100 million in 1997. Latvia imports over half of its pharmaceuticals from the former Soviet Union and eastern European countries because of low costs, as most people cannot afford to buy expensive drugs.
Latvia is one of the leading Baltic states of the pharmaceutical industry. In 2001, A Latvian company called Olainfarm was established as the largest chemical-pharmaceutical manufacturer in the Baltic States for developing and manufacturing generic drugs for treatment of Alzheimerís disease, AIDS-related dementia and other dementias.
Issue # 2: The issue of the rights of displaced people:-
One of the major issues that concerns displaced people in Latvia is the issue of the ethnic Russian minority (which constitutes about 30% of the population). Since gaining independence in 1990, three to four million ethnic Russians living in the former USSR states moved back to the Russia. Many have been deprived of citizenship in countries they consider home as former Soviet states. After the collapse of the former Soviet Union some 287 million people lost their old citizenship, but not all of them got new citizenship, but not all of them got new citizenships to replace them.
For example, some 1.6 million ethnic Russians living in the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, but the majority have been denied citizenship of the state in which they live, therefore, they feel deprived of their rights as Latvians and want to return to Russia.
Issue #3: The issue of the trade of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction:-
One of the most serious security issues facing the world today is the issue of weapons of mass destruction, which can be nuclear, chemical, biological, and radiological weapons that are used in armed conflict.
Latvia firmly supports the efforts of the international community to prevent proliferation of nuclear weapons and a banning of further nuclear tests. As a member of NATO (north Atlantic treaty organization), the government of Latvia denies that its country would deploy nuclear weapons on its territory.
Delegate: Yasmeen Qaddumi Country: Latvia Issue: The role of generic drugs in the world
Defining A generic drug is "a copy of a brand name whose patent has expired",
Aware that Alzheimerís disease and AIDS- related dementia are spreading and increasing throughout the world,
Supports and thanks all health related organizations,
Notes that generic drugs are needed for helping countries that cannot afford the brand name drugs,
Further notes that powerful rich countries should help developing nations eradicate contagious diseases and illnesses,
Bearing in mind that local pharmaceutical industries are a source of generating income to the local economy,
1. Resolves that the UN will create a sub-organization under the WHO called the United Nations Help Health Organization (UNHHO) and itís main headquarters will be in Switzerland;
2. Further Resolves that the UNHHO will meet and update every two months and schedule sudden meetings depending on any health crises;
3. Notes that the UNHHO will consist of all UN states but would mostly hope that countries in need of help in health issues join UNHHO;
4. Also notes that the UNHHO will form many headquarters to cover all regions of the world: A. To cover Europe will be Switzerland, B. To cover Asia will be Japan, C. To cover Africa will be South Africa, D. To cover North America will be New York, E. To cover South America will be Brazil;
5. Emphasizes that countries wanting to be in the UNHHO should be willing to help by: A. Providing generic drugs to the UNHHO if they can, B. Making sure that all generic drugs made in their countries are medically certified. C. Having representatives for their countries to state their problems and health issues;
6. States that medical representatives should be sent to report on various medical developments of generic drug manufacturing;
7. Asserts that countries which do not abide with the UNHHO guidelines will not be allowed to participate in any UNHHO meetings and will not get benefit of the UNHHO;
8. Declares that the UNHHO will: A. Make sure that countries that cooperate with rules and regulations of the UNHHO will gain financial assistance in return, B. Manufacture the same quantity of generic drugs for each country, C. Provides incentive for companies following rules and regulations such as financial.
Honorable chair, fellow delegates,
Taken over by the USSR in 1940, Latvia regained its independence 51 years later in 1991.
With its low lying plains and its few hills, Latvia is often very wet and in need of drainage. Latvia is also deeply concerned as most people cannot afford to buy expensive drugs, and being the caring country that it is, it want to help those innocent citizens that suffer from these diseases. So Latvia believes that there should be access to generic drugs worldwide.
Donít wait until its too late!