On 10–11 July 2019, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Edgars Rinkēvičs, will be on a working visit in London to take part in the Global Conference for Media Freedom, co-hosted by Jeremy Hunt, the Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom, and Chrystia Freeland, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada. The conference aims at promoting international coordination and action to advance media freedom and the safety of journalists both through discussions at the highest political level and practical long-term measures at the expert level.
Edgars Rinkēvičs is to participate in an interactive session on Navigating Disinformation, chaired by the Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland and bringing together experts and representatives from the media industry, academia and civil society. Alongside other heads of delegations, Edgars Rinkēvičs will sign the Global Pledge on Media Freedom, whereby countries commit themselves to cooperation and reinforcing international initiatives to champion media freedom and safety of journalists.
The conference will be structured around four main themes: improving national frameworks and legislation; safety of journalists; media sustainability; building trust in media and countering disinformation. The Stockholm School of Economics in Riga and the Baltic Centre for Media Excellence will hold a separate parallel session on how to protect journalists most effectively and support the sustainability of free media in the EU Eastern Partnership region.
During the visit to the United Kingdom, Edgars Rinkēvičs will also have several bilateral meetings: with the UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Jeremy Hunt; the Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, Sir Keir Starmer; the Chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee at the British House of Commons, Thomas Tugendhat; and the Chair of the Exiting the European Union Select Committee at the House of Commons, Hilary Benn. The officials will discuss the course of withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union and further cooperation between the two countries, current issues in foreign and security policy, as well as the fight against disinformation.
The Minister will also give several interviews to the media, including Sky News, BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme, and The Telegraph.