Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Application for the Akhaltsikhe International Security Seminar 2009 has started

Latvian Transatlantic organisation (LATO) in cooperation with Georgian NGO “new Generation – new Initiative” and the support of Latvian Ministry of Defence organises the second Akhaltsikhe International Security Seminar 2009, which is going to be held on July 13-17, 2009 in Akhaltsikhe, Georgia.

Akhaltsikhe International Security Seminar (AISS) is designed as an annual event in Akhaltsikhe city, Georgia, whose aim is to bring together bright students and young activists from the Baltic and Black Sea region to discuss topical regional security issues.

This year AISS focuses on the common challenges and interests of the Baltic and Black sea region, where participants will be engaged into discussions of common security challenges and strategic interests for the countries of both regions. Special attention will be devoted to the role and interests of the US and Russia, which policies have a major impact on the regional security. Besides lectures of prominent experts, participants of the seminar will have topical workshops, presentations, debates and excursions both in Samtskhe-Javakheti region and capital Tbilisi.

AISS 2009 will bring together 16 youngsters from Latvia (7), Georgia (7) and Ukraine (2). LATO and nGnI are responsible for the selections of the participants in Latvia and Georgia. Foundation Souspilnist is a national coordinator for Ukraine. All the applicants have to submit to the national coordinators an application form, detailed CV and an essay (500-1500 words) on the topic following topic – “Security policy of the Baltic and Black sea region: points of common strategic interest and action”.

More detailed information in Latvian and Georgian.

The first Akhaltsikhe International Security Seminar on the topic “Russia-Georgia Conflict Aftermaths: Policy Priorities for Europe and Black Sea Region” was organised on November 24-26, 2008 in Tbilisi, Georgia, where twenty four youngsters from Latvia and Georgia took part, discussing regional security issues with prominent experts and officials. Initially the seminar was planned for September 22-26, but had to be postponed and relocated due to the August War between Russia and Georgia. The AISS 2008 was made possible thanks to the generous support of the Ministry of Defence of Latvia and Ministry of Defence of Georgia.

Akhaltsikhe city is the centre of Samtskhe-Javakheti region, located in the South-West Georgia. Akhaltsikhe was chosen as the location for the AISS due to the existing link between the NATO Corner in Akhaltsikhe Institute (opened by nGnI in 2007 as a part of NATO information campaign) and LATO and Latvian Ministry of Defence (MOD). In March 2008 LATO and Latvian MOD were invited by nGnI to become patrons of the NATO Corner in Akhaltsikhe due to Latvia’s involvement in creation and publishing of the book “NATO and Georgia’s Security” for Georgian secondary schools. Patronage of this NATO Corner does not only mean cooperation with this particular resource centre but also carries a more symbolic meaning – link between Latvia and Georgia, cooperation on NATO information campaigns, work with defence and security policy questions, facilitating projects and activities in Akhaltsikhe region in particular. AISS is the next step in developing the link between Latvia and Akhaltsikhe.

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