Defense Minister Urmas Reinsalu opened a high-level NATO legal conference in Tallinn, where 150 jurists from allied and partner countries are gathered this week to discuss the future of security in the alliance.
At the conference, entitled “Responding to change - legal challenges in the future security environment,” the discussion will center on new international risks and lessons learned on NATO missions.
“Although today’s security environment is the most stable and secure it has been in the last 60 years, we face complicated tasks ahead in the long term,” said Reinsalu in his opening address.
Reinsalu said technological progress, including in the military sphere, is accompanied by new threats, and natural resources shortages and climate change will create new hotspots and unstable areas.
“NATO members must cultivate close cooperation in the field of law, so we could adequately and rapidly respond to threats when needed," Reinsalu said.
The defense minister added that cyber security is one of the fields where legal aspects have to be reviewed. “The Tallinn manual recently compiled by experts at the NATO cyber defense center is a good example. It examines how to apply international law to cyber defense as a new means of warfare,” said Reinsalu.
The keynote speaker at the conference is UK Defense Minister Liam Fox, who will provide an overview of geopolitical challenges.
Representatives from the Estonian Defense Ministry and Estonian legal experts will also speak at the conference, which runs until June 28. Estonia is hosting the annual event for the first time.