Conference marks a year without Meri

  • 2007-03-14
  • By Joel Alas
TALLINN - Estonians will mark the first anniversary of the death of president Lennart Meri by hosting an international conference in his name. The inaugural Lennart Meri Memorial Conference will take place between March 29 and 31 at the Radisson SAS Hotel in Tallinn. Conference convenor Kadri Liik said the event would discuss topics close to Meri's primary interest 's relations between Estonia and the world.

European security and identity, the challenges and opportunities offered by the Middle East, as well as security issues concerning Russia, Belarus and Ukraine will be discussed during the three-day talkfest.
"These were topics that were of interest to Meri, but they are also very relevant for today as well," Liik said.
Finnish President Tarja Halonen will give a keynote speech, while Wesley Clark, a former NATO commander and one-time US presidential hopeful, will attend as a panelist.

The list of Estonian speakers includes President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, IRL party leader Mart Laar, and Meri's son Mart, who is a sitting member of Parliament for the Social Democratic Party.
The conference will be the only major event to mark the first year of Meri's death.
There were no official government commemorations, and as the Eesti Paevaleht newspaper pointed out, steps have not yet been taken to name any monuments, squares or major buildings in Meri's honor.
Meri died on March 14, 2006.