Diplomatic staff get crisis training

With terrorist outrages, armed conflicts and natural disasters seeming to happen with greater frequency, Latvia's consular staff are receiving special training in dealing with crises. 

Latvia’s consular officers are meeting in Riga from 18 to 19 April to discuss latest developments in consular work.

"The changing security environment in the present-day world also determine the focus of consular work, and therefore the training this year will concentrate on recent consular crises, the role of strategic communication in consular work and effective outreach to the customer under crisis conditions," says a release about the consular get-together from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Other topics being discussed include issuing personal identity documents, protecting the rights and interests of minors and visa-related matters.

Recent terror attacks in Stockholm, London and St Petersburg saw Latvia's embassies and consulates swing into action with commendable speed offering advice and assistance to Latvians on the scene. A special telephone hotline is also active the moment an emergency arises.

This year’s training session brings together 55 participants – the Foreign Service personnel who are already performing consular functions in Latvia’s diplomatic and consular missions as well as those who are to be posted abroad this coming summer.

The lecturers are experts from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs of the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Justice, the Legal Assistance Administration, the Ministry of Welfare, the NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence, and the School of Public Administration.

Training for consular officers has been held since 1995 and it has become a tradition that makes possible the sharing of information and experience and exchanging views on current trends in consular affairs.

Consular officers ensure that the rights and interests of Latvia’s citizens and non-citizens are protected abroad, as well as providing a number of services which fall within the competence of various institutions in Latvia, for instance, the issuing of passports, citizenship matters, and notarial activities.

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