Riga Conference 2023


The Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairsthe Ministry of Culture and the Ombudsman's Office, together with the Council of Europe, have the pleasure to invite you to the jointly organised Conference The Pen Is Mightier than the Sword? Meeting today’s challenges to freedom of expression and the safety of journalists.

  • The Conference, organised under the Latvian Presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, will take place in Riga on 5-6 October 2023 and will be streamed live.
  • The event will be introduced on 5 October by the launch of the forthcoming 5-year Council of Europe Campaign for the Safety of Journalists.

Both events are closely interlinked and will focus on the challenges to freedom of expression and the safety of journalists, including in times of conflict and hybrid war.

The launch of the Council of Europe Campaign for the Safety of Journalists will set the path for a series of decisive activities aiming at effectively increasing the safety of journalists and other media actors.

In this sense, the conference is timely and in line with the objectives of the Campaign which aims to intensify the efforts of the Council of Europe member States to safeguard journalists’ safety and raise awareness about their vital role for the functioning of democracy.

Both the conference and the launch of Campaign will provide a long-sought forum to hear and exchange views, experience and best practice with a wide range of experts in the field, including high-level national and international representatives, journalists’ and civil society organisations, academia and legal professionals. The working language will be English.

Nacionālā bibliotēka

Event will take place in National Library of Latvia, Mūksalas iela 3, Rīga

Working documents: 

Register for in-person participation in Riga is closed.

No need to register to follow the event online.

* Event was streamed live on this page, and MFA Latvia main page www.mfa.gov.lv/en and Ministry of Culture main page www.km.gov.lv/en

Recording of the first and second day of the conference live broadcast

Biographies of Moderators and Speakers

Cardinal Richelieu


  Beneath the rule of men entirely great
  The pen is mightier than the sword. Behold
  The arch-enchanters wand!— itself a nothing!—
  But taking sorcery from the master-hand
  To paralyse the Cæsars—and to strike
  The loud earth breathless!—Take away the sword—

  States can be saved without it!

  Edward Bulwer-Lytton, Richelieu Or the Conspiracy.