NATO Secretary General addressing Estonia-hosted Cyber Pledge conference

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NATO Cyber Pledge 2021 Source: Ministry of Derense

Mircea Geoană, Deputy Secretary General of NATO, is set to address a virtual conference being hosted in Tallinn on Thursday. Geoană will replace Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who was originally due to issue the keynote speech.

The conference, entitled the NATO Cyber Defense Pledge Conference 2021: Entering a New Decade, is the third such annual event, and will also see Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) give an address. This year's event was postponed from 2020, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, and is being held in a virtual format as a result.

The event will focus on the strategic, political, and practical implications of ensuring a cyber-enabled alliance, with panelists examining relevant strategic issues, cyber-resilient supply chains, national critical infrastructure, and the enabling of NATO operations, missions and activities, the Ministry of Defense said in a press release Monday.

The event will bring together leading experts from political and military level, as well as from academia and industry.

The conference is not a public event. However, not only will conference materials be made available after the event, but the conference also coincides with the 2021 large-scale cyber warfare Exercise Locked Shields, the largest of its kind globally, and one which members of the public can register for.

The Cyber Defense Pledge dates back to 2016 and entailed allies enhancing their cyber defenses a matter of priority.

Since 2018, the conference has helped to address the most pressing issues in cyber defense, and to offer North Atlantic Council and cyber defense experts across the alliance the ability to exchange best practices.

The previous conferences took place in Paris in 2018 and in London in 2019.

A media background brief will be held on Tuesday at 4.30 p.m. Estonian time, hosted by Kristjan Prikk, defense ministry permanent secretary, along with NATO Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges, Mr. David van Weel via Zoom.

A transcript of Mircea Geoană, and Kaja Kallas' remarks at the conference will be available here, after the event has ended on Thursday.

This article has been updated after Mircea Geoană was announced as keynote speaker, rather than Jens Stoltenberg.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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