The Riga StratCom Dialogue; Perception Matters, August 20-21, 2015
Statement by H.E. Olli Kantanen, Ambassador of Finland at the high level session
There has been a great need for a Centre like this. The world is full of information, and people are sometimes suffocated when the tide of information comes. We need information, but sometimes there is too much noise in the information.
It is obvious, that media is increasingly used to achieve other goals than just sharing news and entertainment. In the recent years we have seen social media and various news outlets used in information campaigns that are aimed at causing disarray and confusion. There is a discussion about information warfare, propaganda campaigns and hybrid war, but also about economic viability of media and transparency of societies.
Even though information has always been used to distract, we have entered a new era. The as phenomena is old, but at the same time new - because of the new technologies.
Managing these issues require a comprehensive response and international cooperation.
The NATO StratCom Centre is taking a good grasp on this. Currently we face different information operations and forms of communication that are partially understandable and manageable. But new information campaigns will take forms we can´t yet recognize.
The Centre of Excellence is therefore very much needed - not only for current challenges, but also for solving issues that are yet to come.
Finland emphasizes the importance and usefulness to seek close EU-NATO-cooperation and -coordination in the hybrid issues as well as in the stratcom. Both of the actors have their own strong capabilities that can complement each other and national activities of different member states.
In Finland we very much appreciate the chance to take part - and to contribute - in the work of the NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence here in Riga.
Finland signed the Cooperation Arrangement with the Centre in July. And as of the beginning of this week, we are especially happy to see our own expert at the Centre too.
The NATO StratCom Centre is there to support open and free societies. We are sure that the Centre will provide us an effective stratcom toolbox for today - and for tomorrow!
Finland wishes the best of success to the NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence!