On August 20, some of the most influential minds from the world of strategic communications, media, defence and security gathered in Rīga for the conference "The Riga StratCom Dialogue: Perception Matters", organized by NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence located in the Latvian capital.
The conference focused on how strategic communication can strengthen the defence capabilities of NATO in the new information environment and has attracted more than two hundred participants, including Heads of States, foreign and defence ministers, NATO representatives, as well as academics, journalists, defence and communications experts from NATO and partner nations.
The agenda of the conference included topics such as the lessons learned from ISAF operations in Afghanistan, how NATO can improve its defence by using strategic communications, what is the role of social media in modern conflicts, and what communication methods DAESH is using to recruit new supporters and disseminate their propaganda.
“This will be the first high-level conference on strategic communications organised by the NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence, and hopefully it will become a long-term tradition to share the expertise on topical strategic communications issues”, said Jānis Kārkliņš, Director of the NATO StratCom COE.
A high level session, “StratCom’s Role in NATO Transformation” featured Mr. Raimonds Vējonis, President of Latvia, Dr. Laimdota Straujuma, Prime Minister of Latvia, Mr. Tomasz Siemoniak, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defence of Poland, Ms. Marina Kaljurand, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia,Mr. Juozas Olekas, Minister of Defence of Lithuania, Mr. Edgars Rinkēvičs, Foreign Minister of Latvia, Mr. David Bakradze, State Minister of Georgia for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration and other high ranking officials from the COE’s sponsoring, supporting and partner countries.
As part of the conference, the inauguration of the new premises of NATO STRATCOM COE was held, visited by Mr. Raimonds Vējonis and Ms. Dalia Grybauskaite, President of Lithuania.