The coronavirus outbreak has now been labelled a pandemic by the World Health Organization and, as much as we were looking forward to another insightful series of discussions, our first priority must be the health of our guests and partners.

We have, therefore, decided to postpone the Lennart Meri Conference planned for 15-17 May 2020. The conference will now take place next spring and we will continue preparations for it. 

On behalf of the organisers,

Eeva Eek-Pajuste
Director of the Lennart Meri Conference at the International Centre for Defence and Security

 

Travelling seas
As you keep your eyes open
Powers the intellect, powers the soul,
Having no fear of depth to be trodden,
Treating your country as part of the Whole.

Poem by Irena Pavliuk

 

My Neighbour’s Problem Today –
Mine Tomorrow

 

Date: 14-16 May 2021
Participation:
invitation only
Contact: lmc@icds.ee

The 14th Lennart Meri Conference (LMC) is inspired by Horatius’ maxim, nam tua res agitur, paries cum proximus ardet (you too are in danger, when your neighbour’s house is on fire).

The risks of isolationism were well known to the wise men of ancient Rome. But 2100 years later, the urge to isolate oneself on the basis of ethnicity, country, religion or ideology, while ignoring nearby dangers, is more widespread than could have been predicted at the time of the collapse of the Berlin Wall. Therefore the 14th LMC aims to enquire into the depth of each individual actor’s interdependence, as the boundaries between global, regional and local security issues are increasingly blurred and such distinctions are ever more artificial.

In 2020, Estonia took a seat on the UN Security Council — the most difficult diplomatic negotiating table in the world — where she will stand for the interests of small states and the preservation of the rules-based international order, and highlight the links between security, climate and cyber. The LMC will thus debate subjects of utmost importance for the global security architecture, such as:

  • the fragile state of democracy and the rule of law,
  • climate challenges and the search for new sustainable energy solutions,
  • the changing role of the US in international relations and the EU under new leadership,
  • NATO at 70 and the health of the transatlantic relationship,
  • the Three Seas Initiative and the new openings it might offer at the geostrategic level,
  • the shifting balance in the South China Sea as China’s aspirations grow,
  • the ever growing impact of the digital universe on politics and security,
  • the situation in the Middle East and the intentions of Iran,
  • the conflict in Syria,
  • Russia’s interests ranging from Central Asia to the Arctic,
  • the latest developments in Ukraine and the Western Balkans, and the new looming arms race.

All these topics touch directly on our region.

About the Lennart Meri Conference

“We can never have too much security,” said President Lennart Meri. To mark his continuing legacy in foreign and security policy thinking, the annual Lennart Meri Conference aims to encourage curiosity and debate, highlight unity and diversity, and foster liberty and democracy. Since 2007 it has assembled distinguished policymakers, analysts, politicians, military personnel and academia from around the globe in Tallinn, Estonia. The President of Estonia is the Patron of the conference.

Curious about what to expect? Click here to read about the Lennart Meri Conference 2019, view photos and quotes, short video interviews, etc.

Four caricatures from an exhibition created by Rein Pakk and Rainer Sarnet exclusively for the Lennart Meri Conference 2019. Lennart Meri (1929-2006) was a leader armed with a number of weapons, humour being one of them, at times the sharpest and most powerful. In this exhibition you will find many of Meri’s famous quotes put into a present-day context.

 

The panel discussions at the Lennart Meri Conference are open to both invited guests and to accredited press. The official conference website and ICDS Facebook page will provide live streaming of panel discussions that are not under Chatham House Rule.

The breakfast and night owl sessions will be conducted under Chatham House Rule and access is granted to invited guests only.

Click here to find out more about the conference policy and practicalities.

More detailed information and the programme will be published shortly before the conference.