To mark the Canadian contribution to the Riga-based NATO Strategic Communications’ Centre of Excellence, the newly appointed Canadian Ambassador to Latvia, Alain Hausser, and the Director of the Centre of Excellence, Ambassador Janis Karklins, marked the Canadian contribution by a ceremonial raising of the Canadian flag.

On 4th September 2014 at the NATO Summit in Wales, the Prime Minister of Canada, the Honourable Stephen Harper, announced support to various initiatives to help Ukraine and NATO allies counter the Russian threat to the region, including a contribution to the Strategic Communications’ Centre of Excellence, saying, “The Canadian support being provided for NATO initiatives today, will help Ukrainians better defend themselves against the Russian threat, and strengthen the ability of NATO Centres of Excellence in the region, to better address regional security challenges related to energy, communications and cyber defence.”

This contribution, facilitated through the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs’ Global Peace and Security Fund, will allow the NATO StratCom COE to acquire the Behavioural Dynamics Institute’s Target Audience Analysis methodology through a Train the Trainer programme, a purpose-built NATO course, developed and delivered by Strategic Communications Laboratories Group (SCL) and Information Operations Training and Advisory Services GLOBAL (IOTA-Global) of London, UK. The two-month course will take place in Riga, Latvia, in the spring of 2015 and will be attended by the Centre’s staff, COE sponsor-nation personnel, and select other NATO personnel. The second phase of the project entails the NATO StratCom COE building StratCom capacity in Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia, through training and experience sharing.

The NATO StratCom COE highly values the support provided by Canada for the strengthening of the security of NATO’s allies and partners in Eastern Europe. This project will strengthen NATO’s Strategic Communications capabilities, as it can be applied to all scenarios where the shaping of the information environment and managing perceptions is critical to the success of resolving conflict enhancing public diplomacy, violence reduction, countering terrorism and maintaining peace.