Riga will host a discussion „New Challenges for NATO members and its partners”

15.04.2009. 10:44

On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of NATO and Latvia’s 5th anniversary of membership in the Alliance, Latvian Transatlantic organisation (LATO), Latvian Institute of International Affairs, the Freedom and Solidarity Foundation in cooperation with NATO, the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia organise a public discussion “New Challenges for NATO members and its Partners”. Discussion will take place on April 21 in the Reval Hotel Latvija. The discussion will start at 9:30. The working language of the discussion will be English with the simultaneous translation into Latvian.

Discussion will be opened by LATO Secretary General Mr. Sandis Šrāders and Coordinator FES Baltic Mr. Hermann Bünz with the two panel discussions following. The first panel discussion will be devoted to the Latvia’s 5 years of membership in transformed and enlarged NATO, where several prominent speakers such as Mr. Andris Teikmanis, State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia, Ms. Heather Conley, Former Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs of the US Department of State, Dr. Olaf Osica, Senior Research Fellow from European Centre Natolin, Warsaw, will take part. The panel discussion will be moderated by Dr. Andris Spruds, Director of the Latvian Institute of International Affairs.

In the second panel discussion entitled “NATO’s mission in Afghanistan: A New Strategy?” Mr. Bruce Rogers, Charge d’Affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Latvia, Mr. Jānis Sārts, State Secretary, Ministry of Defence of Republic of Latvia, H.E. Mr. Jawed Ludin, Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Island, Amb. Karl Harbo, Senior Fellow at the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program, Former head of the Delegation of the European Commission to Afghanistan, Mrs. Simbal Adnan Khan, Acting Research Director, Institute of Strategic Studies, Islamabad will discuss the new NATO strategy in Afghanistan, where 163 Latvian soldiers are deployed at the moment. Discussion will be led by Dr. Atis Lejiņš, Chairman of the Freedom and Solidarity Foundation.

At the discussion venue two photo exhibitions on the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan will be available for the public, which are kindly provided by the Ministry of Defence of Latvia and the Embassy of Canada in Riga. In the framework of the discussion the Ministry of Defence of Latvia offer to visit the photo exhibition entitled “Latvia’s participation in the international mission in Afghanistan”, where the main tasks of the Latvian contingent soldiers are displayed – securing guarding and patrol functions, area observation, neutralization of the unexplosive munitions, as well as the training of the Afghan National Army. For its part, the Embassy of Canada will provide a photo exhibition “Rebuilding Afghanistan”.

After the discussion, at 14:00 all participants will be invited to a performance of the film “Debt to Afghanistan” in the cinema “Riga”, Elizabetes str. 61. Director of the film: Askolds Saulitis, script: Askolds Saulitis, Atis Lejins.

The discussion is supported by the Ministry of Defence of Latvia, U.S. Embassy in Riga, Embassy of the Republic of Poland and Embassy of Canada.