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On Tuesday, 27 November the State Fire and Rescue Service of Latvia (VUGD) and Rīga Stradiņš University, in cooperation with the CBSS Permanent Secretariat, Swedish Institute and Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency is organising an international conference "Societal Security in the Baltic Sea Region: Challenges and Solutions".

The international conference, with the main focus on introducing civil safety in education and the promotion of community awareness of safety in the Baltic Sea region, will include experts from the United Kingdom, Germany, Estonia, United Nations, Sweden and Latvia who will identify joint challenges and agree on potential solutions for strengthening civil safety. Graduates from the Baltic Leadership Programme, whose daily tasks include ensuring the safety of the nation's citizens, will take part in the conference. (more information here).

The conference will provide an insight into and increase the knowledge of participants on the current culture of public safety in the Baltic Sea region and how the perception of risk influences the awareness of public safety. 

The conference comprises of a number of blocks – two panel discussions on education as an essential element of public safety and the promotion of public awareness at the regional level, as well as two interactive seminars. An example utilising augmented reality has been prepared especially for this conference – to assist with educating the public on safety. The example will be demonstrated using the booklet Do you know what to do in emergency situations. 


Dr. phil. Agrita Kiopa, Vice-Rector for Science, Rīga Stradiņš University 
Mr Dimitrijs Trofimovs, State Secretary, Ministry of the Interior of Latvia
Ambassador Maira Mora, Director General of the Council of the Baltic Sea States Secretariat
Mr Nils Svartz, Former Acting Director General of Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency, Senior Advisor to the Director General of MSB 


Common societal security: where do we stand in terms of “common”?
Ms Kristina Syk, CEO of Straterno AB, Sweden
Kristina Syk has a background in both Swedish civilian and military defence. For the past six years, Kristina worked with conceptual development of Swedish total defence, primarily civilian defence matters. Contributor to book project: Societal Security in the Baltic Sea region: Expertise Mapping and Raising Policy Relevance, Latvian Institute of International Affairs, 2018. 



Moderator: Elīna Vrobļevska, Rīga Stradiņš University 

  • Mr Mārtiņš Baltmanis, Deputy Chief of the State Fire and Rescue Service of Latvia, Latvia
    Societal security as an integral part of the national education system 
  • Ms Ruta Siliņa, Head of Communication and International Cooperation Unit of Ombudsman's Office of the Republic of Latvia
    Dissemination of educational materials to society about crisis situations: analysis of the approach by ministries in Latvia
  • Ms Elisabeth Braw, Associate Fellow, Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies, United Kingdom 
    Identity of a secure society 
  • Dr Alain Pagani, Deputy Director, Department of Augmented Vision, German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence, Germany
    Use of Augmented reality technologies in education about societal security 

overly-logo.pngDigital agency Overly will demonstrate examples of augmented reality related to education about societal security.



Moderator: Elīna Vrobļevska, Rīga Stradiņš University

  • Dr Roberts Ķīlis, Social anthropologist, former Minister for Education and Science, Latvia
    Risk perception of society 
  • Ms Aleksandra Moorast, Board Member of Public Relations Association, Estonia
    Modern approaches to awareness raising campaigns and solutions to deliver complicated messages
  • Ms Sabine Freizer, UN Women, Regional Governance, Peace and Security Policy Advisor, United Nations
    Increasing awareness on gender-responsive disaster risk education at the national and regional level
  • Prof. Magnus Ekengren, The Swedish Defence University, Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership, Sweden
    Raising public awareness of the multitude and added value of international actors for Baltic security

The conference will be held at Rīga Stradiņš University, Rīga, Dzirciema iela 16, and all interested persons will be able to follow the conference online on the  VUGD website. Working language of the conference - English.

Media opportunities: photo, video and commentary opportunities before the conference from 8:30 to 8:55, as it will not be possible to observe the conference. We kindly ask that you submit your requests by 11:00 on 26 November by writing to  inta[pnkts]palkavnieceatvugd[pnkts]gov[pnkts]lv or calling 27098250.


Latvia is currently presiding over the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS), within the frame of which the State Fire and Rescue Service of Latvia (VUGD) as the service responsible for civil defence, organises a number of events, including this international conference, the results of which will be used in the future work of the CBSS and simultaneously also the development of a joint culture of civil safety as a priority. CBSS was established in 1992 as an overall political forum for regional inter-governmental cooperation and is made up of 11 Baltic Sea region countries: Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Germany, Poland, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Russia and also the European Commission.



Hippocrates Auditorium