International forum on security and foreign policy issues – The Rīga Conference 2016 – commences

28.10.2016. 08:06

Today, 28th October, marks the opening of one of the most important security and foreign policy forums in the Baltic Sea region – The Rīga Conference 2016. This two-day event marks the 11th anniversary  of the conference, and for the third year in a row it will be hosted at the National Library of Latvia, welcoming over 600 participants from 40 countries. For two days, Heads of States, experts, diplomats, academics and media representatives will discuss pressing issues on the daily agenda in security and foreign policy.

Opening remarks will be delivered by the President of the Republic of Latvia H.E Mr Raimonds Vējonis and the Defence Minister Mr Raimonds Bergmanis. The first panel will welcome Mr Anders Fogh Rasmussen, former Secretary General of NATO, Prof. Dr. Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga, former President of Latvia, Hon. Mr Harjit Sajjan, Minister of Defence of Canada and Mr Hannes Hanso, Minister of Defence of Estonia. Moderated by Dr. Žaneta Ozoliņa, the Vice Chairman of Latvian Transatlantic Organisation, the panel will discuss NATO’s challenges and its ability to adapt to 21st century needs.


The Minister of Defence of the Republic of Latvia, Mr Raimonds Bergmanis, talking about The Rīga Conference 2016 says, “This year’s conference will be especially important due to this summer’s NATO summit. I am especially delighted about the participation of the Minister of Defence of Canada and our bilateral meeting, because following the Warsaw Summit our cooperation will only increase. As it is known, Canada has become a framework nation for the multinational battle group which will be stationed in Latvia next year.”

A panel focused on the global economy and financial tendencies in 2016 and the issues affecting the three global economic powers – USA, China, and the European Union will be held in the afternoon featuring Mr Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President for the Euro and Social Dialogue, Mr Edward Lucas, Senior Editor at The Economist and Prof. Dr. Balkan Devlen, Department of Political Science and International Relations in Izmir University of Economics. The session will be moderated by Ms Jill Dougherty, Former Foreign Affairs Correspondent for CNN.


Over the two-day period, the conference will see discussions on the most important questions not only for the European Union but also beyond it. Among topics discussed will be the Eastern Partnership and Ukraine and the developments within them, the European security and order and the future of it. Within the framework of the conference, participants will also turn towards the Middle East and the ways of tackling of global terrorism.


Those interested can also see the conference live on,,,,,, and The online viewers are encouraged to participate and interact with the guests of the conference via official The Riga Conference hashtag #RigaConf.



About The Rīga Conference 2016


The Rīga Conference 2016 is one of the leading security and foreign policy forums in the Baltic Sea region, welcoming more than 60 heads of states, experts, diplomats, academics and media representatives from 40 countries. The conference will take place at the National Library of Latvia.


The conference is organised by Latvian Transatlantic Organisation (LATO) in cooperation with the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of The Republic of Latvia. The conference is supported by NATO, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation, Riga International Airport, U.S. Embassy in Latvia, European Commission in Latvia, Apply Intelligent Technologies, Askaneli Brothers, Amber Distribution Latvia, Embassy of Georgia in Latvia, Kongsberg, Embassy of Canada in Latvia, SAAB, Italian Embassy in Latvia, Nordic Council of Ministers in Latvia, Swedbank, Riga City Council. The conference is powered by Møller Group, Møller Auto Lidosta, Audi, Latvian Mobile Telephone. Information partners: Latvian Television, DELFI, LETA, magazine Ir, Hromadske International, Postimees, the Lithuania Tribune, iPress Georgia, and New Eastern Europe.


For further information about the conference, agenda, participants and broadcast please visit:


For more details, please contact:

Mr Aivis Indans

The Rīga Conference 2016

Media Coordinator


Tel: +371 2659 5406