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Minister of Foreign Affairs

Linas Linkevičius

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Panel discussion on building societal resilience was held at NATO headquarters

Created: 2019.01.25 / Updated: 2019.01.25 19:19
      Panel discussion on building societal resilience was held at NATO headquarters
      Panel discussion on building societal resilience was held at NATO headquarters

      On 24 January, Lithuania‘s Permanent Delegation to NATO and UK‘s Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) for Defence and Security Studies held a panel discussion at NATO HQ on the topic of “Building Societal Resilience against Hybrid Threats“, with renowned experts such as Elisabeth Braw, RUSI Associate Fellow, Dr Antonio Missiroli, NATO Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges, Eitvydas Bajarūnas, Lithuania‘s Ambassador-at-Large for Hybrid Threats, Viktoras Daukšas, Director of Debunk.eu initiative, and Giedrius Sakalauskas, Head of “Lithuanian Elves”.  The event aimed to shed light on the issue of societal resilience, which carries an enormous untapped deterrent potential.

      In his opening speech Ambassador Vytautas Leškevičius, Permanent Representative of Lithuania to NATO, noted the increase of types and frequency of security threats, especially as a result of hybrid warfare. Our civil societies increasingly become targets of hybrid attacks. Governments and armed forces do not always have the capacity to provide sufficient protection and mitigation. Both Top-Down and Bottom-Up approaches are needed in complementary manner. NATO as well has to aim for more focus on the issue of societal resilience.

      Panel speakers shared their views and best practices on building societal resilience, covering both academic and practical perspectives. Particular emphasis was put on grassroots initiatives and the need to embrace modern technologies and out of the box approaches.

      Audience with great interest reacted to Lithuania‘s grassroots initiatives – Debunk.eu project and phenomenon of “Lithuanian Elves”, Internet resistance movement of more than 5000 Lithuanians fighting pro-Russian „trolls” online.

      The event was widely attended by Allied and partner nations‘ ambassadors and other diplomats, NATO International Staff, representatives of EU institutions, and think tanks‘ experts.

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