On 2-4 April, 2009 NATO’s Public Diplomacy Division together with the Atlantic Treaty Association, the Atlantic Council of the United States, the Office franco-allemand pour la Jeunesse, and the Ecole Nationale d’Administration (ENA), will host a Youth Forum entitled “NATO in 2020: What Lies Ahead?”. The conference will take place on the margins of the Alliance’s 60th Anniversary Summit, which will be held from 3-4 April in Strasbourg, France and Kehl, Germany.
Latvia will be represented by two active youngsters – Uldis Šalajevs, vice-president of Latvian Youth Council and Arvils Zeltiņš, 4th grade student at the Riga Stradiņš University, assistant to the Security Department director of the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which have been selected by the Atlantic Treaty Association out of the four applicants sent by LATO.
The open call for the applications to represent Latvia at the NATO Youth Forum was announced on February 17, 2009. Applicants had to submit their CV, a motivation letter along with the short essay on the topic “Latvia in NATO – 5 years of experience” till the February 26 deadline. Overall, 22 applications have been received. Although it was not so easy to choose, a special commission made out of representatives of LATO and Latvian Transatlantic Youth Club defined the four authors of the best works– Arvils Zeltiņš, Zanda Ratkeviča, Dāvis Siksnāns, Uldis Šalajevs – whose works were sent for further evaluation to the Atlantic Treaty Association.
Organisation of the Youth Forums on the sidelines of the NATO summits has already become a tradition. As it was in the previous years in Prague (2002.), Istanbul (2004.), Riga (2006.) and Bucharest (2008.) this years around 300 young leaders from 57 countries will discuss the future of NATO and new security challenges for the Allies with the prominent expert, journalists and high-ranking officials, including the Secretary General of NATO, Mr. Jaap de Hoop Scheffer.
Latvian Transatlantic organisation and Latvian Transatlantic Youth Club are the national coordinators in Latvia.