The CIOR ’Late Summer Congress’ is confirmed to go ahead as initially planned, in Tallinn, Estonia, from 27 September to 01 October 2020. Due to the COVID-19 situation, the virtual IBM held last July agreed to make a final decision by the third week of August.
By: Roy Thorvaldsen, Lt.Col. (R) Norwegian Army/CIOR Public Affairs
The congress will have the option to participate remotely via video-link, for those that cannot, or do not want, to travel and be physically present. It is anticipated that a majority of delegates will choose to participate through the virtual facilities.
– It was important to show that CIOR adapts and adjusts in a realistic, military fashion, says outgoing CIOR President, UK Colonel (Retd.) Chris Argent.
– We have conducted a thorough risk assessment and are reasonably sure that it is possible to hold this congress without exposing attendees unnecessarily to the virus, given standard precautions are followed – social distance and good hand hygiene being the most important ones.
The President and the Secretary General, UK Colonel (Retd.) Adrian Walton, have been on location for a recce this week, and following a loosening of the Estonian National Policy on quarantine for visitors from countries with higher infection rates in consultation with the Estonian hosts, the congress confirmation was posted on CIOR Connect today.
In place of the normal Symposium, CIOR is co-sponsoring with the International Centre for Defence & Security, the Annual Baltic Conference on Defence (ABCD) which is a one-day event entitled ”Strengthening Baltic Societal Resilience and Military Defence” on Wednesday 30 September in Tallinn. Speakers include senior officers and politicians from Estonia, US, UK, Germany, Spain and Portugal, and proceedings will be opened by the President of Estonia.
All those who are attending the ’Late Summer Congress’ in person can participate, and virtual facilities will be provided for everyone else who wants to follow the event online. Contents will include key note speeches on the Security and Defence Implications of COVID-19, NATO’s Deterrence and Defence in the Baltic Region and the Role of Reserves in the current and likely future security environments.
– For CIOR this is a prestigious opportunity to co-operate with an important defence institution, and we are grateful for the opportunity and the goodwill of the ICDS, says Argent.
In respecting the health advice for social distance and large gatherings, and adjusting for what is practically possible on short notice during this situation, the Congress will be held without the traditional military competition (MILCOMP), and it is hoped that the CIOR Language Academy (CLA) will take place at a later date.
The ’Late Summer Congress’ is held in lieu of the cancelled Summer Congress in Liege, Belgium, which was scheduled for early August.
The Estonian ’Late Summer Congress’ event page can be found here.