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Vaira Vike-Freiberga, first woman elected President of the "Club de Madrid"

Vaira Vike-Freiberga, past president of the Republic of Latvia (1999-2007) was elected at the head of gathering of former heads of states at the 12th Club de Madrid 2013 Annual Conference : "Societies that Work: Jobs for Inclusive Growth. A Call to the G20" which takes place this weekend in Brisbane, Australia.

Article published on 8 December 2013
last modification on 9 December 2013

by BD
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Yesterday, Saturday, Dec. 7 in Brisbane, Australia, Vaira Vike-Freiberga, former President of the Republic of Latvia between 1999 and 2007, was elected at the head of gathering of former heads of state at the Annual Conference of the Club Madrid.

Dr. Vaira Vike-Freiberga
réélue présidentedu Club de Madrid

More jobs, less poverty

"Societies that Work: Jobs for Inclusive Growth. A Call to the G20" the 12th Annual Conference of the Club of Madrid which takes place this weekend in Brisbane, Australia named for the first time headed by a woman.

Vaira Vike-Freiberga, President of Latvia (1999-2007)

Dr. Vaira Vike-Freiberga is a professor and interdisciplinary scholar having published eleven books and numerous articles, essays and book chapters in addition to her extensive speaking engagements. As President of the Republic of Latvia 1999-2007, she has been instrumental in achieving membership in the European Union and NATO for her country. She is active in international politics, was named Special Envoy to the Secretary General on United Nations reform and was official candidate for UN Secretary General in 2006.

She remains active in the international arena and continues to speak up in defense of liberty, equality and social justice, and for the need of Europe to acknowledge the whole of its history. In December 2007 she was named vice-chair of the Reflection group on the long term future of the European Union (2007-2010). Chair of the high-level group on Freedom and Pluralism of the Media in European Union, established by the vice-president of the European Commission (2011-2012). She is also known for her work in psycholinguistics, semiotics and analysis of the oral literature of her native country.

Vaira Vike-Freiberga takes the post of President of the "Club de Madrid" January 1, 2014, when Riga became European Capital of Culture when Latvia adopted the €uro. In this role, Vaira Vike-Freiberga will replace the former Dutch Prime Minister Wim Kok, who ended his four-year term.

Biography of the Ex-President of the Republic of Latvia Prof. Dr. Vaira Vike-Freiberga

Childhood and education (1937-1965)

Vaira Vike was born on 1 December 1937 in Riga, Latvia. To escape the Soviet occupation, her family fled the country on 1 January 1945 and became refugees. Vaira began her schooling in refugee camps in Germany and continued in French Morocco, first at the elementary school in Daourat and then at the Girls’ College Mers-Sultan in Casablanca.
After arriving in Canada in 1954, she had to work for a year in a bank, and then entered the University of Toronto, obtaining a B.A. (1958) and an M.A. (1960) in Psychology. While studying, she worked as part-time teacher in a private girl’s school and Spanish translator, and afterwards as a full-time clinical psychologist at the Toronto Psychiatric Hospital (1960-61). Resuming her education at McGill University in Montreal, she earned a doctorate (Ph.D.) in experimental psychology in 1965. She speaks Latvian, English, French, German and Spanish and understands Italian and Portuguese.

Presidency of the Republic of Latvia (1999-2007)

On 17 June 1999, Vaira Vike-Freiberga was elected President of the Republic of Latvia by the Parliament (Saeima). In 2003 she was re-elected for a second term of four years with 88 votes out of 96.
She has actively exercised the powers conferred on the President by the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia and has played a leading role in achieving Latvia’s membership in NATO and the European Union. Invited speaker at numerous international events. Outspoken pundit on social issues, moral values, European historical dialogue, and democracy.
She has been a member of the Council of Women World Leaders since 1999, a regularly invited participant to the World Economic Forum (Davos) and to the annual meetings of the American Academy of Achievement since 2000.
During her presidency, she authored and published an additional three scholarly books, plus one book containing her numerous speeches and invited addresses between 1999 and 2007.

The 12th Annual Conference of the Club of Madrid, 2013.

Conference objective :

•Identify measures to increase employment for sustainable growth including legislation and incentives as well as sectors with potential for job creation.
•Contribute to the coordination of stakeholders around a set of priorities and actions.

Expected results:

•Identify best practices and policy recommendations to promote employment.
•Share and disseminate best practices and strategic recommendations amongst main actors. The conclusions will be oficially presented to the Australian G-20

Expected deliverables:

•A policy brief highlighting concrete recommendations
identifed during the conference.
•Identify possible “Commitments to Action” that Club de Madrid and partners may work on throughout 2014 taking forward the proposals of the Conference

En outre, "Le Club de Madrid" a élargi le nombre ses membres de 70 en 2009 à 95 en Décembre 2013.

In 2011, the intervention of Vaira Vike-Freiberga at the Club of Madrid.

The Club of Madrid is an independent non-profit organization bringing together former 92 presidents and prime ministers from 61 countries goal. It is the largest forum in the world for former heads of state and government meet to meet the growing demand for leaders in two main areas: leadership and democratic governance in response to crisis situations and after crisis. The goal of both fields is to meet the challenges of democratic governance, political conflicts and establish healthy societies and inclusive, in which the leadership experiences of the members of the Club of Madrid are very valuable.

The Club of Madrid contributes to the development of lasting political solutions to today’s challenges, develops policy recommendations, action plans and implementation strategies.

With a special message from Kofi Annan:

"Young people have paid the highest price in term"

The former Secretary General of the United Nations (1997-2007) and honorary member of the Club of Madrid talks about youth employment in his video address to the annual conference "Societies that Work: Jobs for Inclusive Growth. A Call to the G20" .

Club de Madrid
Residence Palace
International Press Centre,
Bloc C, Rue de la Loi, 155
B - 1040 Brussels
Tel: +32 (0)2 230 33 37/8
Fax: +32 (0)2 280 20 36
E-mail: shuguenet at clubmadrid.org

Thank you for your opinions and comments, your corrections translations and other proposals

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