It is my distinct honor today to recognize President Vaira Vike-Freiberga as the recipient of this year’s Boston Global Forum World Leader for Peace and Security Award.
I’m Michael Dukakis, co-founder and chair of the Boston Global Forum, which is dedicated to analyzing and finding solutions and initiatives to help create a world of peace, security, and cooperation.
We’ve been fortunate to have worked with President Vike-Frieberga in recent years. The first contact with you for many of us in Boston was when you were a senior fellow at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics. Since then you have been a frequent participant in the proceedings of the Boston Global Forum as well as serving as a member of our board of international thought leaders. You have made significant contributions to our AI World Society Initiative.
Additionally, our award is given in recognition of your many other contributions to peace and security in your home country, the Baltic Region, Europe, and internationally.
You have had a rich career, serving for two terms as President of Latvia, at the time it joined the European Union. During your last year in office, Latvia’s GDP grew by more than 10 percent—among of the highest in the world.
You have been a leading voice in strengthening the Baltic region, most continuously but not solely through the Riga Conference, which you founded in 2006, which meets annually to discuss critical defense and foreign policy issues.
Europe has benefitted from your efforts, notably through your leadership as vice-president of the Reflection Group on the long-term future of the EU, membership in the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation, and as chair of the European Commission High Level Expert Group on Media Freedom.
And it goes without saying, you were a founding member of the World Leadership Alliance-Club de Madrid and are concluding your second term as its president in December 2019.
For these many reasons, Madam President, Boston Global Forum is honored to join the long list of your admirers by presenting you with our annual World Leader for Peace and Security Award.
We will also be celebrating your contributions to world peace and security at our Global Cybersecurity Day, December 12, 2019 at Harvard University.
Thank you for your participation in the work of Boston Global Forum, your many contributions to the betterment of all people, and for your distinguished career as an international leader.