On 17 April 2019, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs held a seminar entitled “Participation of Latvian civilian experts in international missions – opportunities and challenges”. The aim was to raise awareness of the possibilities for participation in international missions, as well as the selection procedures and requirements imposed by international organisations on candidates for expert positions. During the workshop, several experts presented the experience gained while working on the missions of the European Union, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the United Nations (UN). The workshop was attended by representatives of State administrative authorities, including the departments of the Ministry of Interior and the Prosecutor General's Office of the Republic of Latvia, as well as other interested parties.
Speaking to the participants in the seminar, Andris Pelšs, the State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, stressed: when sending civilian experts to participate in international missions, Latvia contributes to ensuring international security and rules-based international order. We pay special attention to security issues in the regions close to Latvia and in countries such as Ukraine and Georgia. At the same time, in the presence of missions, experts are gaining a deeper understanding of the crisis-stricken regions and knowledge that can be useful for future professional work. Andris Pelšs noted that it would be necessary to increase the number of Latvian civilian experts participating in international missions in the coming years. In the long term, it would be important to strengthen Latvia's participation in UN missions by sending civilian experts.
Inga Jansone, the Deputy Director of the Security Policy Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, introduced the system for sending civil experts of Latvia to international missions, as well as informed about the possibility for independent experts who wish to work in crisis-stricken regions in the future and may contribute to the work of an international mission, to register with the civil expert database maintained by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Inese Voloseviča, the Head of the International Affairs Division of the State Police, told about the experience of the departments of the Ministry of Interior, when sending officials with special service grades to international missions.
Experts Roberts Fedosejevs, Reinis Janevics, Edgars Perijs and Edgars Cauņa shared the experience of work on international missions. The experts encouraged the participants to participate in invitations to tender for participation in international civilian missions and at the same time to prepare carefully for the selection process. The lessons provided by experts will be useful for Latvian representatives planning to participate in international missions.
In conclusion, Ilmārs Breidaks, the director of the Security Policy Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, welcomed the growing interest in participation in international missions. Ilmārs Breidaks expressed the hope that the information and exchange of views obtained during the workshop would be useful for both the responsible authorities and the experts.
Currently 16 Latvian civilian experts participate in international missions: 3 civilian experts participate in the EU Advisory Mission for Civilian Security Sector Reform in Ukraine, 5 experts on the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia and 8 experts on the OSCE Special Observation Mission in Ukraine.
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